County Commissioners Take Back Raises, But Not Their Own

Today the El Paso County Commissioners decided to take back some of the raises approved last week.  However, the largest raises (and the ones they gave themselves) remain.  

According to KFOX, “The proposed raises for those 11 positions had the smallest increase of all, averaging around $2,000 annually per employee, but the raises for commissioners, constables and the judge are here to stay.”

There is still time, the raises won’t be final until the budget is finalized in September.

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Not Just A Monday Off

Today we honor all of those who have died while in military service.  Graves are decorated and families solemnly and proudly remember those they have lost.  In 2000, Congress passed the National Moment of Remembrance Act, asking people to stop and remember at 3:00 P.M.  So, amidst your shopping and swimming, please take a moment today at 3:00 P.M. to stop and remember those who died in “pursuit of freedom and peace.” 

Police Asking For Help To Find Missing 97 Year Old

Celest Rice, a 97 year old resident of Montevista at Coronado went missing last night.  According to KVIA, she was last seen at 9:30 last night and she suffers from Alzheimer’s.  “Rice is described as a white female with grey hair, brown eyes, approximately 5-feet-4-inches tall with a thin build. She was last seen wearing a white night gown. If you spot Rice, you are asked to call 911 immediately.”

The Will of The Voters and Judge Mike Herrera

Judge Mike Herrera was reprimanded by the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct in February for, among other things, keeping his divorce case in his own court for months. He received the state’s second-severest sanction and has ordered Herrera to seek six hours of “additional education.”  According to the El Paso Times, “Seana Willing, executive director of the Commission on Judicial Conduct, said the only more serious punishment the commission could have given would be to begin a process that could end with a judge’s removal.”  Was the more harsh punishment not pursued because his actions did not merit it?  Probably not.  According to Seana Willing the harsher punishment wasn’t pursued, “Because we elect our judges, it’s not going to be easy to reverse the will of the voters,” she said.”  Anyone else see the issue with this logic?  The “will of the voters” did not know any of this information about Judge Mike Herrera when he was elected.  Who knows what the “will of the voters” is now that this information is available – nobody has asked them.

But wait, it gets even better (worse?).  “On at least five occasions, the El Paso County Council of Judges has paid lawyers to support one of its own in a practice that a higher Texas court has called ‘blatantly improper.'”  According to the El Paso Times, on at least five occasions, TAX PAYER dollars were used to pay lawyers to file motions on behalf of Judge Mike Herrera challenging his removal from cases that were being handled by lawyer Angelica Carreon-Beltran (the lawyer who was representing his wife in the divorce). “The commission also sanctioned Herrera for his behavior when Carreon-Beltran tried to have her other cases removed from Herrera’s court, claiming she couldn’t get a fair hearing before the judge. As evidence of bias, she cited the judge’s claim that she had participated in a break-in at one of his properties.”

So, this Judge keeps his own divorce case in his court for months, used tax payer money to hire lawyers to fight removal of cases from his court and accused his wife’s lawyer of a break-in.  Oh, and he filed his campaign finance reports late in 2012. You tell us, Will of the Voters, what is say you now?  We agree with the County Commissioners that funding for the defense of judges facing recusal should be removed from the budget, too bad they can’t take it away now.

Larry Romero Resigns

Rep. Larry Romero who suffered a stroke in December and has been absent from recent meetings resigned on Thursday, citing health reasons.

The resignation came three days after the Ethics Commission sent Romero and Gonzalez a list of more than 60 questions regarding the investigation.  Presumably, now that he has resigned, he will no longer need to answer those questions, but that remains to be seen.

Shout ’em out – who do you think is going to replace him?

We will provide more information as it becomes available.

You can read the El Paso Times Article here.

Providence Hospital Job Fair On 2/4/16

The El Paso Herald-Post reports that The Hospitals of Providence will be holding a job fair tomorrow (February 4th) from 9am to 3pm at the Hilton Garden University (111 W. University Ave.)

If you are interested, bring your resume, dress appropriately and be prepared for on-site interviews.

They will be looking for skilled applicants in the following areas:

 

  • Physical Therapy
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Laboratory Positions (Lab Assistants, MTs)
  • Imaging Services (Radiology Techs, CT Techs, MRI Techs)
  • Cath Lab Rad Techs
  • Social Worker, Respiratory Therapist
  • PCT’s/ C.N.A.’s
  • Ancillary Positions
  • Registered Nurses (ICU, CCU, PICU, NICU, SICU)
  • Med/Surg
  • Labor and Delivery
  • Nursery
  • PP/OBGYN
  • ER, Surgery
  • PACU
  • Telemetry
  • Pediatrics
  • Surgery Ortho
  • RN Case Management
  • Geriatrics
  • Step Down Units

For more information please contact the Market Recruitment Team:

Veronica Ornelas: 915.832.2192

Jennifer Ceniceros: 915.577.7153

Michael Rios: 915.577.7183

Isabel Salinas: 915.747.2690.

Read More: The Hospitals of Providence Holding Job Fair This Week | http://kisselpaso.com/the-hospitals-of-providence-holding-job-fair-this-week/?trackback=tsmclip

 

Pay No Attention to the Veronica Behind The Curtain

In his is blog this week, Max Powers wrote about how there is no Veronica Escobar endorsement on Lina Ortega website, but that Escobar is working behind the scenes to raise money for Ortega’s campaign. According to Max, the fundraising isn’t going as well as expected because ” once reliable donors for anything that Escobar asked for are telling Escobar, “No.” When this happens, Veronica then asks them to stay out of the race completely. Isn’t it a little odd that she expects that the people who have refused to give her money would yield to her wishes to not donate to Lina’s opponent, Adolfo Lopez? We wonder if Lopez will get votes just because Escobar is NOT supporting him.

In other news, Barbara Carrasco has filed an ethics complaint against City Rep Claudia Ordaz. The complaint states that Ordaz violated state law by discussing executive session information. Who was she sharing information with? Veronica Escobar. According to the El Paso Times article, “Carrasco’s complaint said that on June 1, during an executive session at an agenda-review meeting, Ordaz texted Escobar — a political ally and mentor – on the status of economic incentive requests from a company wanting to build medical facilities in El Paso.”

So, now we have two instances of Veronica working behind the scenes. This made us wonder, are there other places where Veronica Escobar is trying to pull strings from behind the curtain? We still have unanswered questions about her role in the initial setup of and subsequent bankruptcy fight with the El Paso Children’s Hospital. Will those questions ever be answered or will she continue to work from the shadows?

Lack of Oversight Corrected?

“This ruling is also a victory for the taxpayers of El Paso County, who will now have greater oversight over the Children’s Hospital. The lack of accountability in the past, I believe, is one reason this whole situation was able to metastasize in the first place. However, with diligent work and stewardship, both UMC and the Children’s Hospital, which provide immeasurable services to this community, can continue to flourish and offer our residents the highest quality of healthcare.”  Commissioner David Stout in his January Newsletter.

Anyone else concerned about this new oversight?  This debacle happened under the current County Commissioner’s watch and, as we have proven time and again, UMC was able to enter into contracts with EPCH that were widely inflated and a way to bilk money from the Children’s Hospital.  Where was the oversight there?  Are the County Commissioners committed to doing something to correct the obvious problems with UMC as well?  Finally, how much oversight do they really have?  When Jim Valenti got a bonus in 2013, the County Commissioners could do NOTHING about it, they couldn’t even remove the board members.  This is a victory for someone, just not necessarily the tax payers.