The married mayor pro tem of a Texas town is facing child pornography charges, city officials said.
Gary Leon Caplinger, the longtime mayor pro tem of Allen, was arrested Thursday, city officials confirmed in a statement.
“We were shocked to learn today of the arrest of Councilmember and Mayor Pro Tem Gary Caplinger on charges related to child pornography,” the statement read. “The case did not originate with the Allen Police Department.”
Caplinger — a married real estate agent who has two sons — was first elected to the Allen City Council in 2005. He has served as mayor pro tem of the Dallas suburb since 2012. He’s now in his final term, which is set to expire in May, city officials said.
Caplinger, 56, surrendered to authorities in Collin County Thursday on charges of possession of child pornography and possession with intent to promote child pornography, the Dallas Morning News reported.
Jail records indicate the alleged incidents took place in August 2019 and March 2020. Additional information about the accusations was not immediately available, the newspaper reported.
Caplinger’s attorney said he had not reviewed evidence against his client Thursday, but noted authorities did not arrest him while executing a search warrant in the case and instead referred to it to a grand jury.
Caplinger is “certainly innocent until proven otherwise,” attorney Todd Shapiro told the newspaper.
Caplinger has not made any decision about his future on Allen’s City Council, Shapiro said.
“I’m sure there are people in the community who would want him to resign now,” Shapiro told the Morning News. “I would hope we still believe in giving someone his due process and day in court.”
Prior to being elected to Allen City Council, Caplinger was appointed to the city’s planning and zoning commission and served as a reserve police officer for 10 years, according to his bio on Allen’s website.
Caplinger was released from custody after posting $80,000 bond, the Dallas Morning News reported.
He was indicted by a grand jury last week, leading to warrants for his arrest. Investigators had searched his Allen home last March, KXAS reported.
The Texas Department of Public Safety is handling the ongoing investigation, the station reported.