Charley Wilkison, Executive Director
Charley Wilkison became Executive Director in January 2014 after being promoted from Director of Public Affairs. He is CLEAT’s legislative director and chief lobbyist in the Capitol. Charley came to CLEAT from the field of government and politics. He worked in his first campaign as a volunteer in a County Sheriff race in the Texas Primary in the Spring of 1976, at age 18. During college he ran political campaigns and worked as a speechwriter, media and political strategist. Prior to accepting a position at CLEAT in 1994, Charley’s governmental experience included the U.S. Congress, Texas Senate, and Texas House of Representatives. He holds a degree in Political Science from Texas A&M University, Commerce.
Susan Collins, Director of Finance
Susan graduated from New Mexico State University with a Bachelors in Business Administration. She also attended St. Edwards University and received a Master’s of Science in Organizational Leadership and Ethics. Susan joined the CLEAT staff in 1985 as Membership Secretary.
Elizabeth McManus,Finance specialist
Liz grew up in the small town of Glocester, Rhode Island. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.S. in Human Development & Family Studies with a Family Finance concentration from the University of Rhode Island.
Mike Rickman served as an officer in the Mesquite Police Department for nearly a decade before going to Texas Tech University Law School where he graduated in 1993. Mike met and married Mesquite Officer Gay Rickman, who is now retired. They have two sons.
Bob Leonard, Assistant General Counsel
Robert has been an attorney in the San Antonio office since 2005. He received a BA in History at the University of New York, Stony Brook, and his law degree from Brooklyn Law School. In 1983, Robert joined the U.S. Army and was a military police officer. In 1985, he joined the Army National Guard and served for 15 years.
Karl Brehm, Staff Attorney
Karl is a San Antonio native who joined CLEAT in December 2007. Karl attended East Central High School in San Antonio and Texas Lutheran University in Seguin before going to law school at St. Mary’s University.
Megan Callier, Staff Attorney
Megan is a native Houstonian serving in CLEAT’s Houston office. She obtained her law degree from the University of Oklahoma College of Law and undergraduate degree from Texas A&M University. Her experience includes litigation, transactional practice and alternative dispute resolution.
Grant Goodwin, Staff Attorney
Grant joined the CLEAT staff in November 2014 and is working at the State Headquarters. His experience resume includes service with the State of Texas as an attorney for the Texas Juvenile Justice Department and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. He earned his law degree at St. Mary’s University School of Law.
Jim Jopling, Staff Attorney
Jim joined CLEAT in 2008. He is originally from Fort Worth. Jim completed his undergraduate studies at UT Austin in 1986. He was a buyer at Lockheed Fort Worth Company before going to law school, and graduated from St. Mary’s University School of Law in 1996.
Morris Munoz, Staff Attorney
Morris returned to CLEAT in September 2014 after spending more than a decade in private practice specializing in labor and employment law. During that time, he also served as Detention Monitor and Intergovernmental Administrator for the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, which has given him valuable insight on how jails are managed and operated. He also has experience in collective bargaining for public sector employees. Morris works out of the San Antonio office and serves members across South Texas as he did during his first tour with CLEAT in 2001 and 2002. He earned his J.D. from South Texas College of Law.
Alyssa Perez, Staff Attorney
Alyssa was born and raised in El Paso, Texas and joined CLEAT in 2012. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Austin, and her law degree from St. Mary’s University School of Law. Alyssa practiced criminal law in both the District Attorney’s Office and the Public Defender’s Office in El Paso County since 2008. It was through this experience that she gained a deep appreciation for law enforcement and their dedication to public safety.
Celeste Robertson, Staff Attorney
Celeste came to CLEAT after spending many years practicing fiduciary litigation, as well as handling probate and estate planning. She is also a mediator. Celeste graduated from the University of Houston Law Center in 1994. She has three children.
Bob Thomas, Staff Attorney
Bob Thomas has been a licensed attorney in Texas for the past 22 years. He has represented Texas Peace Officers in Federal and State civil and criminal district court trials. Bob has also represented hundreds of officers in IAD investigations, arbitration hearings, civil service appeals, grievance hearings, and contract arbitrations. He is also licensed in the Southern and Eastern federal district courts, the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court. Bob is a licensed mediator and a TEA arbitrator.
Prior to Bob’s legal career, he served twenty years with the Houston Police Department and honorably retired at the rank of Sergeant. Bob worked 11 years in patrol and retired as an evening shift patrol sergeant. While employed at HPD, Bob was the founding President of the Patrolmen’s union, a director of the HPOA, a trustee of the Houston Police Pension System, and an appointed TCLEOSE commissioner.
Julian Grant, Staff Attorney
Julian Grant has been an Assistant City Attorney with Corpus Christi, TX for the last three years before joining CLEAT. He was the first in-house City Attorney of Kyle, TX and also Deputy City Attorney of Temple, TX. He was the Chief Municipal attorney for the State of Texas for a decade as head of the Texas Attorney General’s Local Government Section. Julian is co-chair of the Finance & Economic Development Section of IMLA and co-chair of the Land Use section. He is an IMLA Local Government Fellow and participates in the International Section, having spoken in Prague and just visited Cuba with this section in 2016. He has given papers at other IMLA conferences, including in 2012 in Austin on the Texas Open Meetings act and in 2013 in San Francisco on Texas Economic Development law. He has spoken at Texas City Attorney Association conferences for years on Texas AG Opinions, Eminent Domain, Construction Law, and technology, as well as several regional Texas Municipal League meetings. He has given two speeches on public procurement law at the Texas State Bar Construction Law Section meeting. He trained local Texas officials around the State at numerous conferences for the Texas Economic Development Council. He co-authored the Texas Economic Development Handbook as well as many “Made Easy” articles accessible to the general public formerly found on the AG website on such topics as open meetings, procurement law, eminent domain, and ethics. He also spent 6 months in the AG’s Public Finance Section, which approves public bonds in Texas and was an administrative law judge for the Texas Workforce Commission.
Cindy Stormer, Staff Attorney
Cindy Stormer has been a prosecutor with Dallas (Super Chief), Cooke (elected District Attorney), and Tarrant Counties. She was formerly the Chief over Police Liaison in Dallas (Assistant City Attorney and Executive Officer in the Dallas Police Department). She is the author of two law related books: Texas Small Firm Practice Tools, by James Publishing (a law book covering 16 different practice areas) and BrainStormer, (Dealing logically, ethically, and efficiently with the mentally vulnerable and those with addictive tendencies). She is licensed in the United States Supreme Court and federal courts, authoring over three hundred appellate briefs and/or writs. She has been a college instructor (legal assisting, government and criminal justice) and was a Police Officer and in police work for ten years (holding an advanced certificate).
Paul Barnes, Staff Attorney
While earning my bachelor’s degree from the University of St. Thomas, I volunteered my time to student-run nonprofit organizations. This drive to do work that helps others led me to South Texas of College of Law, Houston. After getting my J.D. in May of 2015, I passed the Texas bar and earned my law license in November of 2015. Before joining the CLEAT legal team in January of 2017, I spent my first year as an attorney getting a wide range of legal experience and trying to build my own practice. Paul was born and raised in Houston, Texas.
J.R. Ramirez, Staff Attorney
J.R. Ramirez has over fifteen years of experience in law enforcement, working with the City of McAllen and Mission Police Department. JR found an interest and love for union work and was an executive board member of the local police union for thirteen years of his law enforcement career. JR also blocked walked and help put civil service on the ballot and did the same for binding arbitration. He began as a patrol officer and then became a detective. As a property crime detective for the City of McAllen, he focused on credit card fraud and financial crime cases, working alongside the Secret Service. His career led him to pursue a major in Criminal Justice and received his Bachelor of Science from the University of Texas-Pan American in 2009. He immediately continued his education and earned a Master’s Degree in Public Administration in 2011 from the University of Texas-Pan American.
Inspired by his younger brother and family, he went on to receive his Juris Doctorate in December 2015
Joyce Lopez, Legal Services Coordinator
Joyce Lopez is one of the longest serving members of the CLEAT Staff. She attended San Antonio College for her legal studies and obtained extensive legal experience before coming to work for CLEAT. She has over 25 years in serving CLEAT members in San Antonio and across South Texas.
Carol Whitfield, Wills Program Coordinator
Carol has been with CLEAT since 1994 and is now a Certified Estate Planner assigned to the Legal Services Division as Wills Program Coordinator. In addition, Carol was recently assigned to become the CLEAT Retiree Association Coordinator, assisting the newly formed board with marketing and recruiting for the CRA. Prior to serving the legal division, Carol obtained both Life & Health and Property & Casualty insurance licenses and managed the CLEAT Benefit Plan, servicing the participating locals.
Mayra Marquez, Legal Assistant
Mayra comes to us from the District Attorney’s office in El Paso where she was an Administrator for two County Courts.
There she kept track of misdemeanor case files. Mayra holds a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice.
Jesica Ramirez, Legal Assistant
Jesica works in the Fort Worth office and has an associate’s degree in criminal justice. Before coming to CLEAT, she worked for five years as a legal assistant in a law firm’s traffic department.
Jeanette Chamberlain, Legal Assistant
Jeanette was born and raised in San Antonio. In 2014, she moved to Houston with her husband Joseph and their two daughters. Prior to working for CLEAT, she worked for Whataburger Home Office as an Administrator.
Director of Field Services
A former police officer in the Houston area departments of West University Place and El Campo. In 1991 Dwight decided after 17 years of service to resign as a patrol sergeant to accept a position that was offered working out of the Fort Worth Regional CLEAT office. Dwight is a 1994 graduate of the Harvard University Trade Union Program.
Tom was born and raised in Colorado. He served 7 years in the U.S. Army to include service during Desert Storm. He has an associate’s degree in law enforcement, is a Harvard trade union graduate and is a Master peace officer.
Danny Arredondo was a CLEAT member for his entire career as a San Marcos police officer. Danny served on the board of the San Marcos Police Officer Association as well as serving as President for the past decade. Danny was instrumental in convincing city leaders there to implement Meet and Confer after CLEAT passed the law back in 2005. Danny also negotiated every contract with the city, handled political endorsements as well as the every day duties of being a local President.
Steve Ayala’s career in law enforcement started at the University of Texas at Tyler where he served two years as an officer. As an officer he graduated from UT-Tyler with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. Steve then returned back to his hometown where he’s been a police officer with the McAllen Police Department for over 17 years. Steve has served in several units in the department and has been an active board member for the CLEAT police associations in his department. Steve is a part-time Organizer and assigned to CLEAT’s newest office in the Rio Grande Valley.Tracy Chance
Tracy’s law enforcement career started with the El Segundo Police Department in California where he spent 4 1/2 years. From there he moved to the Inglewood PD where he worked as a patrol officer, SWAT team member and in criminal investigations before retiring in 2005. He and his wife have five children.
Field Services Administrative Coordinator
Janet Cole grew up in Dallas, Texas and graduated from Texas A&M with a degree in Marketing. She came to CLEAT in 2008. She is a full-time organizer that focuses on targeted local associations in membership growth and helps them formulate strategies, leadership training, communication tools, and resolving local issues.
Chris retired from the Houston Police Department in 2010 after 31 years of service. He has also been a member of CLEAT for 30 years and has worked for CLEAT over 25 years as a consultant or part-time employee. Upon his retirement, Chris was hired by CLEAT full time to work in the Public Affairs Division. Over the years, Chris has developed expertise in the technical aspects of the legislative process, including drafting legislation, amendments, position papers and bill analyses. He has a B.S. degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Houston.
John Kerr joined the CLEAT Field Services Division after retiring from the Fort Worth Police Department. John has served as President of the FWPOA and Vice President of CLEAT for several terms. He has negotiated contracts, recruited members and fought many public media and political battles in Fort Worth and across the state. He is a graduate of the Harvard Trade Union Program in Cambridge, Mass., and a veteran of the U.S. Navy.
Ernie comes to CLEAT with over 10 years of law enforcement experience, most of which he served as a police officer in Fort Worth. He then went on to serve as a patrol sergeant and criminal investigations division sergeant for the Kleberg County Sheriff’s Office. There he also served as the Kleberg County Sheriff’s Officers Association President which resulted in the recruitment of more members, grievances being filed successfully with discipline being overturned in favor of the member, back pay, overtime wages being paid out up to $35,000.00, and negotiating contract amendments that improved the overall well being of the sheriff’s office. Ernie also was a part of the U.S. Marine Core as Sergeant. He has a son Joseph, and a daughter Cameron.
Kristi Hill, Membership Coordinator
Kristi has been with CLEAT since 1994 starting in the Membership Division. She also worked with the CLEAT Public Affairs team and coordinated events for the POMF before being promoted to Membership Coordinator. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business from Concordia University and a marketing certificate from the University of Texas at Austin.
Sonya came to CLEAT in November 2014 after working for the Travis Central Appraisal District for eight years. She was born and raised in Austin.
Jeannette Foree, Membership Staff
Jeannette comes from a a military family and moved around a lot both as a youngster and as an adult. But she’s lived in Texas on and off for the past 20 years. She started at CLEAT as a temporary employee and joined the Membership team permanently in late 2015.
Alex comes to CLEAT after finishing up a social media/marketing internship with a Chicago based SaaS enterprise, behavioral analytics software company, called Mattersight Corporation. She obtained her B.A. in Communication-Public Relations from Concordia University in Austin.
Counsel, Public Affairs
Arianna Smith, with a passion for legislation and politics, joins CLEAT on September 1, 2016. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and Spanish from the University of North Texas and Juris Doctor from the University of Baylor School of Law. She is also licensed to practice law under the State Bar of Texas.
In October 2010, Chris retired from the Houston Police Department after 31 years of service. He has also been a member of CLEAT for 30 years and has worked for CLEAT over 25 years as a consultant or part-time employee. Upon his retirement, Chris was hired by CLEAT full time to work in the Public Affairs Division. Over the years, Chris has developed expertise in the technical aspects of the legislative process, including drafting legislation, amendments, position papers and bill analyses. He has a B.S. degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Houston.
Charley is CLEAT’s executive director and serves as chief lobbyist in the Capitol, field campaign director, PAC Treasurer, and public affairs director of the Peace Officer Memorial Foundation, a charitable organization. Charley came to CLEAT from the field of government and politics. He worked in his first campaign as a volunteer in a County Sheriff race in the Texas Primary in the Spring of 1976, at age 18. During college he ran political campaigns and worked as a speechwriter, media and political strategist. Prior to accepting a position at CLEAT in 1994, Charley’s governmental experience included the U.S. Congress, Texas Senate, and Texas House of Representatives. He holds a degree in Political Science from Texas A&M University, Commerce.