City manager’s legal expenses

A reader sent this in:

For your call to open topics, I wanted to point out  that the recent decision by City Council to retroactively pay for Tommy Gonzalez’s attorneys’ fees (from past ethics claims and his defense thereof) violates Texas law.   The Texas Constitution prohibits retroactive payments for past services to public employees, meaning City employees.  For support of this concept, see this web site and the sources it cites to https://fmx.cpa.texas.gov/fm/pubs/paypol/general_provisions2/index.php?section=retroactive&page=retroactive.
When City Council recently decided to go back in time and pay Mr. Gonzalez for something in the past that was not previously agreed upon in regards to his past defense of ethics charges, they made a retroactive payment of the type prohibited by law.   The lone City Rep who was alleged to have leaked this deal was doing the public a favor, but no one seemed to notice that the payment was prohibited by law.   Not even the new City Attorney.  Just food for thought.

8 Responses to City manager’s legal expenses

  1. Anonymous says:

    No one seemed to “notice” that the City Attorney’s family owns property in the new NW TIRZ either.

    Did the City Attorney disclose her family property interest in the TIRZ?

    Like

  2. John Hogan says:

    Although I was really hoping to find something to bite into here, that section referenced retroactive pay. It spoke nothing about reimbursement for expenses incurred, which is what was approved for Tommy Gonzalez. That being said, I still think the legal fees should be something settled by the court decision rather than being something that we, as taxpayers, have to pay on his behalf.

    Like

    • good governance oxymoron says:

      John,
      Did Margo and CC abuse executive session?

      They included the legal fee reimbursement with the contract negotiations to hide in executive session.

      Once they were outed they had to sever it from the contract negotiation.

      At that point all deliberation should have been made public along with the so called evidence that Margo cited.

      The Ethics Commission hearings were public so if CC is going to overturn a decision it should have been discussed in public and included the commission.

      Why have an ethics commission and ordinance at all?

      Mayor Margo’s recent comments disrespect vital role of Ethics Review Commission: Column

      Ralph Adame, Daniel Anchondo, Mark-Thomas Bray, Emmanuel Echeverria, Stuart Schwartz, Adolfo Telles, Jed Unteraker and Robert Warach., Guest column

      https://www.elpasotimes.com/story/opinion/2019/01/20/mayor-dee-margo-recent-comments-disrespect-vital-role-of-the-ethics-review-commission/2619936002/

      Like

  3. John Hogan says:

    Although I was really hoping to find something to bite into here, that section referenced retroactive pay. It spoke nothing about reimbursement for expenses incurred, which is what was approved for Tommy Gonzalez.

    Like

  4. Mike Schwartz says:

    We can all be as fed up, enraged, disgusted, etc as we want. Bottom line is they are the government and will do as they want when they want. The ballot box in this town doesn’t count as the “fix” has been in for many years. Until someone with deep enough pockets and influence takes them on, it will be “same old, same old.”

    Like

  5. Mike Schwartz says:

    Ok, according to this reader, “they” engaged in an illegal act. Bring it to the District Attorney and ask they indict and arrest. Or the State Attorney General. And if they decline to prosecute, it probably means the law is defective or there is no penalty so prosecuting it would be a waste of time.

    Like

    • Fed Up says:

      If a law is on the books, prosecutors are not entitled to disregard it just because they believe it to be defective. They often do, however, for political reasons or because the alleged wrongdoer has connections.

      Like

      • Mike Schwartz says:

        Gosh, then that sounds like the corruption is all the way up to the state level. Guess you’ll have to show the evidence to the USAG.

        Like

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