Not long after Cathy Hill's husband, a Harris County Sheriff's Office deputy, was killed in the line of duty, the Harris County Deputies' Organization hired her on as an office manager.
In 2000, her husband, Barrett Hill, was shot while chasing car theft suspects through the woods. After he died, Cathy Hill became an advocate both for police and for families of fallen officers. She was the president of a regional organization called Concerns of Police Survivors for a while. She was standing by former governor Rick Perry's side when he signed the state's so-called “Blue Alert” bill, which set up the equivalent of an Amber Alert for suspects accused of killing cops. And she worked for the Harris County Deputies' Organization, which takes donations for a Deputies Relief Fund that assists officers or their families in times of emergencies, and even awards scholarships for Deputies' Organization members' children.
Now, a grand jury has indicted Hill on stealing upwards of $100,000 from the organization between 2012 and 2014.
HCDO declined to comment extensively on the case, but provided this statement: "In May of 2014 irregular financial activity was detected. The irregular activity led to the termination of the Organization's then office manager in early May of 2014. Information about the irregular activity was turned over to the Harris County District Attorney's Office which has resulted in the current indictment of our former office manager. At this time no additional information can be provided due to the ongoing criminal litigation."
ABC News met Hill at the airport as she surrendered to deputies this morning after flying in from Virginia, where she reportedly moved after HCDO fired her in 2014. She refused to comment.
If convicted, she will face up to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.