So, while we were covering the different campaigns and early elections, things continued to move (and change) at the city level this week. Rather than write several articles about it, we thought we would combine it all into one, HUGE post. Ready?
- Although City Rep. Larry Romero has resigned for health reasons, he continues to be paid until his replacement is elected. While we speculated that his resignation would end the ethics review against him, the Ethics Commission has decided to continue with the review. “When I made the statement that Rep. Romero’s resignation would end the investigation of him, I assumed, incorrectly, that his resignation would be immediate,” Ethics Review Commission Chairman Stuart Schwartz said. “I have come to learn that he will continue to ‘serve’ until his replacement is sworn into office.” Romero still has not answered the 60 questions submitted to him by the ethics commission stating “I held a news conference. I was on ABC-7 Xtra for a half hour. I already answered all the questions. I left it all on the table, it’s all out there so why do I have to do it again?” Here are links to articles:
- The review of Tommy Gonzalez continues! The independent investigator concluded that he did not violate state laws in the controversial attempt to replace the city’s financial advisers. However, new questions arose on whether he withheld information on his required financial disclosure statements. “If it were ultimately proven that Mr. Gonzalez failed to properly disclose sources of occupational income on his personal financial statement, or that he accepted an impermissible honorarium, it may constitute a violation of state law,” Fischer said in his findings. City Council will have another meeting on Monday to decide their next steps. At this point, does it feel like they are just looking for a reason to get rid of Gonzalez? Links to articles:
- Joyce Wilson doesn’t want to talk about it. In his preliminary report to the City Council on Wednesday, Austin lawyer Ross Fischer said the City Council could use its subpoena powers to compel Wilson’s testimony, or ask the Texas attorney general to investigate the matter. What do they want to know? They want her to name the City Council members she has said asked her to delay issuing the bonds until after the heated election that focused heavily on the controversial construction of the Triple-A baseball stadium. Under the advice of council, she has refused to cooperate. However, Joyce’s lawyer is disputing this ‘misrepresentation’ of her advice stating that she and her client didn’t have enough time to review the facts in order to “intelligently respond to (Fischer’s) inquiry” in time. “I never said that I was advising her not to cooperate with your investigation… I very clearly stated that our obstacle was a lack of time, given the few days to respond to a complex issue that occurred three years earlier,” Stillinger stated in the letter. However, Fischer is refusing to amend his report stating that Wilson was uncooperative and refused to provide the requested information. How long does it take to say (or write down) the names? Is she carving them in wood? This looks to be another stall tactic while Joyce decides if she is going to fall on her sword or if she is going to actually name names. Links to articles:
- And now District Attorney Jaime Esparza, who is in a three-way race to keep his job, has asked the Texas Rangers to assist his office in reviewing a report released Wednesday by a third-party investigator regarding possible misconduct by several city officials. Why is this the case that Esparza has decided to investigate? Is it because election day is next Tuesday? Links to articles: