Fired or retired?

It seems that our soon to be ex-city attorney is still having trouble with the truth.

A week or so ago she announced that she will be retiring at the end of May.

The Times tells us that she will be receiving $251,000 as part of her separation agreement.

What kind of job pays severance when retiring?

We’ve never heard of someone getting paid an extra six months of their salary when they retire.

It is far more likely that she was terminated and that her employment contract provided for severance pay.

We deserve better



11 Responses to Fired or retired?

  1. The Oracle says:

    The attorney is smarter than the people that approved this !
    (Maybe MOST people are smarter than the people than approved this, or hired her in the first place,)
    (It doesnt take much to outsmart City Hall or the County.)
    The smart ones . . . all left town. This is what we have left.
    ( Get it ? . . . all we have left is . . the. . . LEFT ! )


  2. Anonymous says:

    It’s pretty standard that when you are firing an or laying off an employee who might sue for wrongful termination to get them to sign an agreement that says they won’t sue in exchange for some form of severance and an agreement to announce the separation in a way that makes the employee look good. In this case severance is the package she had previously negotiated in her contract. All that said you don’t fire a 20 year employee because she slips up just once in failing to disclose her real estate husband’s participation in a business deal. My guess is the real story would probably have been embarrassing to the city so they opted to write a big check instead of prosecuting whatever it was that Mayor Margo found. Unfortunately, corruption thrives in El Paso because the folks who participate know that the worst case scenario is that they will be forced to retire and later handed a cushy government job once folks forget about it.


    • good governance oxymoron says:

      Age discrimination.
      Council trashed her on evaluation.
      Rumor has it there is a push to give the job to Steve Ortega.
      The guy with absolutely no experience in anything other than divorce law and he sux at that.


  3. mamboman3 says:

    Wasn’t there a bunch of cash owed her for unused sick leave? I heard Joyce also got herself a bundle for the same when she left. Let’s see if maybe Joyce will offer her a cushy job or maybe EPISD?


  4. Jud Burgess says:

    I personally believe she was “let go” because she is a liability to the city.

    Firth has been a sloppy attorney and her carelessness has got the City knee deep in all sorts of legal quagmires. You can look at virtually any situation and find her dirty fingerprints — the scorched earth Barrio Duranguito fustercluck; the property deals surrounding it and her call to owners to begin demo; her non-challenge of a homophobic idiot that was engaging in the worst kind of hate speech during a 3 minute City Council address while violating my free-speech rights at every turn for non-issues, etc.

    I personally filed 2 ethics complaints against her and a grievance to the Texas State Bar (to no avail but it sent her a clear message that she can’t get away with her BS without challenge).

    Good riddance and take up a nice hobby that doesn’t have anything to do with law for your retirement.

    Candlemaking. Rubber stamping. Gardening.

    Just stay away from city business Firth.


  5. Helen Marshall says:

    Anonymous is right…this is not just a simple “retirement.” The mayor negotiated this arrangement without involving city council as a whole, although he may have held a “revolving quorum” by discussing the issue one at a time with representatives who would support the action. The real question is what did she know?

    This is similar to the decision by Joyce Wilson to put deputy city manager Jane Shang on paid leave for nearly a year, without any public explanation as to why, enabling Shang to reach the minimum time necessary for a pension. Wilson refused to discuss it on the grounds that it was a “personnel matter.” I suppose if she had decided to put the entire city management on paid leave that would have been out of bounds for discussion as well…good thing she didn’t think of that.


  6. Rico Suave says:

    Refer to the Texas Rangers for investigation 🙂


  7. good governance oxymoron says:

    Oops. Council got caught in a group lie.

    My guess is Vince Perez will NOT be demanding Esparza call in the Texas Rangers to investigate since his wife Claudia is involved.

    Drafts show Firth “resigning” not retiring; also possible quorum questions

    Olivia Zepeda, Margo’s Chief of Staff, told KTSM in a phone interview Friday, that Margo did not enter into the agreement with Firth alone.

    She said, though council members have told KTSM they were unaware Firth was stepping down, and that the Mayor had negotiated the terms, it’s untrue.

    “I don’t know why Council says they didn’t know,” Zepeda said. “Mayor Margo was in contact with Council. I can’t say why they would say that.”

    Previous council agendas do not indicate the group took up the Firth matter in executive session or in the public meeting.

    If Margo talked with Council members, it is not clear with whom he spoke, when, and whether it was designed to get their support on the Firth negotiation which could be a possible violation of the Texas Open Meetings Act.

    KTSM is awaiting emails, text messages and other documents from the Mayor, Firth and Council via an open records request.


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