Ethics violation?

It would appear that members of our city council deliberately held what is called a “serial meeting” where meetings were held to discuss the arena but there was never a quorum of council present.

The Texas Local Government Code says this about “serial meetings” that are held to violate the Open Meetings Act:


(a) A member or group of members of a governmental body commits an offense if the member or group of members knowingly conspires to circumvent this chapter by meeting in numbers less than a quorum for the purpose of secret deliberations in violation of this chapter.

(b) An offense under Subsection (a) is a misdemeanor punishable by:

(1) a fine of not less than $100 or more than $500;

(2) confinement in the county jail for not less than one month or more than six months; or

(3) both the fine and confinement.

We deserve better


17 Responses to Ethics violation?

  1. U says:

    One thing that is being missed is that any action taken as a result of the illegal meeting is void.


    • “Illegal”?? What Illegal? This is Niland others on the City Council. How many times have they done this? THEY do whatever THEY want to US. The LAWS, RULES don’t apply to THEM. THEY are POLITICIANS, ruling over “Stupid, ignorant peons” of El Taxo. Whatever THEY do to US is for our own “good”.


  2. for the record says:

    “They knew they could get away with it and they did and they have and they will.”

    So said city rep Emma Acosta to the Times


  3. Y Que! says:

    El Paso Silly Council meeting behind closed doors:


  4. Jud Burgess says:

    FYI – I filed an ethics complaint against the mayor and 4 council members on Monday for this very reason. It was all over TV and FB. Here is a link to the KFOX news story that night. I just also found out that someone else has filed a second ethics complaint for the very same. I agree 100% with you…we deserve better.


    • ManintheMoon says:

      Unless you have a lot of money to wage a protracted legal battle in a court of law nothing will ever come of it. Esparza will not prosecute. What you will complain to the Texas AG’s office they will send you back to the D.A.’s office. Now you can file a complaint just before the statue of limitation runs out in 2 years with the Texas AG’s office by by then many of these people will be gone from government and nothing will come of this. These elected officials privately laugh about this stuff because they know no one will prosecute them and give it time you and others like you will just go a way in a few weeks maybe at worse a month or two.
      You have to look no farther than what happened with Wilson and nothing was done even after some jumped up and down about how they were going to hold Wilson, the city and the elected officials accountable and nothing ever happen. Honestly they think you are a joke.
      Then again the game would be different if you could back it up with lawyers and a legal battle. If you do this just make sure your lawyers are not from El Paso or west Texas.


      • Reality Checker says:

        The only thing that ever gets done is that people get rewarded for doing the wrong thing.


      • anonymous says:

        Oh, well Tolbert filed ethics complaints against Romero and Gonzalez and it got him a seat on council. It is only fitting that ethics complaints now be filed against him.


      • Sad El Pasoan says:

        Taxpayers need to be supportive of Jud Burgess, regardless of what happened in the past. How can we put a stop to this nonsense? What can we do to support Jud Burgess?


        • ManintheMoon says:

          Sad El Pasoan
          Then start a funding source to be able to pay for lawyers to get this in a court of law just filing complaints will not get any one no where. See our elected officials know most of us cannot afford to wage a protracted legal battle in the courts and this is the only thing that will force elected official in El Paso in being held accountable because those elected officials and appointed officials that should hold them accountable aren’t going to do it Sure support people like Jud Burgess but these complaints are easily set on unless some one has a lawyers or lawyers to force the issue and keep it before the officials that should do some thing about it and act also to keep it before the community.


        • Jud Burgess says:

          3 things I set out to accomplish by filing the ethics violation against Mayor Leeser and the 4 CC members:

          1) Put them on notice publicly and have the media report on it so that at minimum it causes them embarrassment

          2) Let them feel if even just a tiny bit, what the residents in Duranguito felt so close to Christmas

          3) Turn the tables on Tolbert for his filing of an ethics complaint last year and let him know he in particular, with all the crap he’s done lately, that turnabout is fair play.

          4) Inspire other El Pasoans to be aware of these things and to act on them, whether it goes anywhere or not.


          • Mr Burgess, I for one, appreciate what you are trying to do with these arrogant politicians. Have been in El Taxo for more than 25 years and it never ceases to amaze me the types of people that are voted into Political, Public Offices here. I guess that I am only one of maybe a dozen Republicans (apparently) that live here and I have never considered, thought that I was represented by anybody. They give away taxpayers money, rebates to MULTI-MILLIONAIRES and I have no vote, no say. THEY decide to take votes away from taxpayers to build MULTI-MILLION$$ ball fields, hotels, office buildings, Public buildings, useless targeted use of a Multi-MILLION$$$ rail system and I have no say. THEY raise MY taxes, vote in BILLION$$$ school Bonds and I have no say. NOBODY, not ONE POLITICIAN in El Taxo REPRESENTS ME. The County District Attorney cannot discover, investigate or prosecute Public Corruption. Local “Law Enforcement” don’t see nuthin, don’t hear nuthin, don’t know nuthin bout what goes on. Every Public Corruption case is discovered, investigated, brought to trial, prosecuted by FEDERAL authorities. The SECRET meetings that Byrd, Niland, Wilson just went away and THEY built, bought that 60 MILLION$$ ball field and then LIED to the taxpayers as to how it would be paid for. “NO taxpayer money”. Public Corruption is inherent in El Taxo and mostly it just slides away, not prosecuted. And yes, “WE deserve better”. Time to drain the swamp, sweep out the desert or whatever analogy we could use.


  5. It is past time but still useful to set up a tax exempt foundation fashioned similarly to Crime Stoppers, but it should have a focus on elected officials and supervisory personnel in any governmental or quasigovernmental (any organization with the power to collect taxes or receive money directly from a taxing authority). Only way we are going to get the kind of information needed for press exposure and/or criminal prosecution is to have underlings and co-workers come forward with information. Crimes Stoppers must not be included because too often police are too close to government. Government must be anticeptically clean to regain the trust of the public. The newspaper simply will not staff local investigations. Once a case is identified and structured, the story could be sold to highest bidder in local media, so they would not have to front costs for reporters. Could be staffed by journalism students at area universities as part of internship programs. Eligible targets could include former officials and announced candidates for office.


  6. They MIGHT be referred to their friends on the “Ethics” Committee and “sentenced” to no coffee breaks for 2 days. Politicians, Public Officials in El Taxo have NO “Ethics, Integrity”, they just do whatever they can get away with. And us “Stupid, ignorant peons” have no idea what THEY do to US or when, how they do it. “Kick the people out of their life-long homes, build an arena, the stupid, ignorant peons don’t need or want”. That is who, what they are. The campaigns are financed, they REPRESENT the local millionaires, THEY get the benefits, tax cuts, tax breaks, not the working people they are ELECTED, PAID to REPRESENT. Just career politicians, nothing more.


  7. ManintheMoon says:

    There is not a snow balls chance on a hot griddle of Jaime Esparza prosecuting this. He will do what he has always done set on the complaint until the statue of limitation runs out to prosecute and nothing will ever happen. You could have hundreds of witnesses and video of elected officials walking out of El Paso government buildings with bags of money and Esparza would look the other way and claim later he knew nothing or heard nothing about it.


  8. Casual Observer says:

    Jail, please. Get these people off the streets and out of meeting rooms. Protect our city.


  9. James W. Peterson says:

    If we have a chance to vote on the matter, I chose jail plus maximum penalty. Just don’t put them in jail at the same time. That would make a quorum.


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