After questions were raised about a past arrest for assault, one East Texas candidate for state representative is claiming he was the victim. But police reports uncovered by Texas Scorecard refute his account.
In 2005, Ted Kamel was working as a math teacher at Robert E. Lee High School in Tyler after previously serving in the legislature from 1991 to 1999. On May 13, 2005, Kamel was arrested for assault by contact and disorderly contact after he mauled a student.
According to the police report related to his arrest, the dispute between Kamel and the unnamed male student began when Kamel ordered the student not to sit on a bench outside of his classroom during lunch. When Kamel returned to his classroom, the student banged on the classroom door with both hands and began walking off.
Kamel then “came flying out of the classroom” yelling at the student and using profanity. According to the report, Kamel grabbed the student as he said things like “he was tired of this s**t,” and “G**d*** kids.” A witness stated that Kamel dragged the student by his shirt and arm down the hallway and continued to scream, drawing several teachers into the hallway to witness the assault.
When Kamel arrived at the principal’s office with the student, he continued to scream profanity at the school secretary, demanding the student be given “an infraction.”
The assault on the student resulted in a “long deep scratch mark on the underside of his left arm” that was “fresh and bleeding.”
In an interview with police following the incident, the school secretary, who “appeared shaken up and upset by the incident,” stated that she was terrified and had feared for the student’s safety.
According to the report, Kamel essentially admitted to all of the relevant facts, acknowledging that “when adults are upset they may say something they shouldn’t.” He claimed that he had his back to the classroom door and that the student “threw his body against the door causing the class to break out in laughter,” but acknowledged he did not see the student throw his body against the door but assumed he had based on the noises.
At the conclusion of the investigation, Tyler ISD police officers arrested Kamel for Assault by Contact and Disorderly Conduct – Profanity.
Kamel resigned from his position at TISD. The prosecution against him was subsequently dropped after, according to sources, the victim declined to testify against Kamel.
Kamel is now employed by Muniservices, LLC, a firm that helps local governments squeeze more money out of its taxpayers and that also provides “cannabis support services” to local governments. He is running against State Rep. Matt Schaefer (R–Tyler), a decorated naval officer and Taxpayer Champion who leads the conservative Texas Freedom Caucus.
Now that he is running for a fifth term in the legislature, and with some details about the incident available to the public, Kamel is claiming that he was the victim in the incident.
In a post in a local Facebook group, Kamel described the incident very differently.

Of course, as a candidate, I was aware that this would come up. If the allegations were even close to being true, I would certainly not be running for this office. That is I was completely exonerated. There were 27 students who were eye witnesses to this incident. I was the one that was assaulted. The student who asked the campus police to write me a ticket ran from 15 yards slamming against my classroom door knocking me to the ground and shaking the glass on the entire side of the building. Teachers came out to if glass was broken. I was on the ground and shaken. I couldn’t spend time with anyone really because I was giving a year end test. My account of the incident was never given that school day.

The police report contains no references to Kamel being knocked to the ground, nor to glass shaking on the entire side of the building, nor to teachers coming out of the classrooms to see if glass was broken. It does contain Kamel’s account of what happened that day, and that account does not contain any of those elements.
Voters in the Republican Primary will choose between Schaefer and Kamel when they go to the polls on March 6th.

Tony McDonald

Tony McDonald serves as General Counsel to Texas Scorecard. A licensed and practicing attorney, Tony specializes in the areas of civil litigation, legislative lawyering, and non-profit regulatory compliance. Tony resides in Austin with his wife and daughter and attends St. Paul Lutheran Church.