Kelley, who attended the meeting, was convicted of aggravated sexual assault against a child in 2014 and sentenced to 25 years in prison. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the state’s highest court for criminal cases, overturned Kelley’s conviction Nov. 6.
Cedar Park City Council planned to discuss the “Greg Kelley Case and Cedar Park Police Department Policies & Procedures” at its Nov. 14 meeting, according to the meeting agenda.
Mayor Corbin Van Arsdale said he wanted the case to be discussed during a council meeting to inform some of the newer council members of the case.
“None of the seven of us were here when these events transpired in the underlying case and when the investigation took place,” Van Arsdale said during the meeting. “I’ve been around enough to know some of what’s been going on, so has [Council Member Anne Duffy], but the other five are relatively new, so we wanted to get up to date on all that.”
Eight people addressed the council during the meeting, including area residents, Kelley’s attorney, and his mother. Some requested the firing of Police Chief Sean Mannix and Sgt. Chris Dailey and asked for a formal apology to Kelley from the city.
Doug Douglas, who has worked as a spokesperson for Kelley, addressed the council and said Kelley had entered maximum security prison with a charge that could have gotten him killed or severely injured.
“We can’t allow the failures to go without consequences, especially when they can be life and death issues,” Douglas said.
Kelley’s mother Rosa Kelley gave an impassioned speech to the council that lasted about 10 minutes. She criticized the Cedar Park Police Department, stating investigators did not reach out to her family or come to her home during the investigation. She said her son was 17 years old at the time and had “a whole future ahead of him” including a scholarship.
“My husband died 5 months ago, and he left this earth [not knowing] about the exoneration of my boy,” Rosa Kelley told the council. “He always asked me, ‘Rosa, make sure when they exonerate my boy that people have to pay for their mistakes...’ In his memory, I don’t ask, I demand, I demand to each of you do what is the right thing to do.”
The city of Cedar Park moved forward with an independent review of the police department’s policies and procedures in 2017, though the review was not specific to Kelley’s case, according to Cedar Park City Manager Brenda Eivens. The firm hired to complete the review recommended a staffing analysis and more training and supervision of those in the criminal investigations division. The city’s recently approved Fiscal Year 2019-20 budget included funding for a detective and sergeant in the criminal investigations division, according to city documents.
Cedar Park City Council did not take action at the Nov. 14 meeting following the discussion of Greg Kelley's case.
After the meeting, Greg Kelley spoke to several members of the press. He said he wants Mannix and Daily to be fired.
“Quite frankly our mission now is that these people do not have badges because I want it to stop with me,” Kelley said. “We will demand accountability until it’s done.”
Kelley, who was released on bond in 2017, said he was able to spend his father’s last moments with him before he died, but he wishes he could have had more time with him, something his imprisonment prevented.
“It absolutely kills me that they took the last remaining years of my dad’s life from me,” Kelley said. “I just thank God that I was released to see him die. ... But they took vital moments that I could have spent with my dad, and I want them to feel that in their heart. I want them to soften their heart, and I want them to completely understand compassion here and do the right thing.”
Mannix released a statement regarding Kelley’s case after the Nov. 6 decision from the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.
In it he wrote: “Make no mistake, I have heard the criticisms surrounding this case and taken actions to address them. I want to reassure our citizens that the department remains steadfast in our commitment to ensure community safety and public trust. It’s a responsibility and privilege I take very seriously.”