Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Former Intern Alleges Niland Staffer Directed Activities Against Political Rivals

Jeremy Jordan, Staff for City Rep Niland
A former intern and City Hall personnel have indicated that a staffer with political aspirations directed politically-motivated activities against rivals of his boss City Rep Cortney Niland, including infiltrating events, sending anonymous emails to news outlets and bloggers, and "looking for dirt on Claudia Ordaz".

There is no indication that Representative Niland had knowledge of, or directed the activities of her staffer.

A former intern in the offices of both City Rep Cortney Niland and Claudia Ordaz has come forth alleging that he was instructed by Niland's staffer Jeremy Jordan to execute those activities against rivals of his boss, Rep Niland.

Christian Alexander is a student at UTEP studying finance and the founder of a neighborhood association. He has served as an intern for Representatives Niland and Ordaz and also interned in Congressman O'Rourke's office and a non-profit organization in Washington, DC. Internships of that nature are very competitive and highly sought-after.

Alexander indicated that while he was an intern for Niland's office that he was instructed by Jordan to participate in negative political activities against Niland's rivals because Jordan wanted to "put the offices on 'political defense' and the best way to keep the other reps busy was to throw stuff like this at them."

The former intern was referring to instructions he received from Jordan "about getting the poster out to all the news outlets..." The poster referred to was an advertisement of an employee-appreciation party being thrown by City Reps Limón and Robinson in August of 2014. Representative Niland and Representative Limón have had a very public feud for most of the time they have served on council together.

Alexander indicates that while he was an intern for Representative Niland's office Jordan instructed him to infiltrate a party that was thrown by City Representative Limón and Robinson.

Alexander says he was asked by Jordan to "make a fake email account to get this out and stay anonymous. He gave me the name Ms. Silence Dogooder because of the reference to Benjamin Franklin."

The reference is actually to Mrs. Silence Dogood, a pen name and character created by Ben Franklin to get his opinions published in the local paper. There is a reference to the pen name used by Franklin in National Treasure in which the name Silence Dogood is mentioned and is part of a secret code in the movie.

Mr. Alexander says that Jordan instructed him to infiltrate the event and take photos. That material was later sent out to more than 50 email addresses of members of the local media and one blogger.

Alexander says that he was asked to compose an email with the material and some talking points in order to try to plant a story with local media. "He told me to ask questions and get the media to research on their own. The sniff of a scandal was enough for him."

As you can see in this email, Mr. Alexander sent the email to the personal email address belonging to Jordan at 8:47pm. The subsequent screenshot shows it was the first email sent from the Silence Dogood account and was sent to Jordan for approval prior to sending them out to the media. "...he gave me the sheet with all the email addresses. The old office manager knew about it too.", stated Alexander.

"...he directed the questions, I typed them and got confirmation to send the emails."

A few minutes after the first email went out to Jordan, then Alexander was free to send out the email to over 50 different email addresses of members of the local media. The messages started going out at about 9:03 pm and went to staff at the El Paso Times, KVIA, KTSM. KFOX, El Diario, etc. (Here's just a sample)

And to Martin Paredes.

Paredes was the only person to have actually picked up what was being sent out by Niland's staff. Here is the post he wrote relating to what was being planted.

In July City Rep Claudia Ordaz made a presentation to city council about problems with funding for projects with the MPO. She first raised the issue a week prior to that meeting. The day before the meeting, Alexander says he was contacted by Jordan.

"He was looking for dirt on Claudia Ordaz", said Alexander. Mr. Alexander was no longer an intern at the City of El Paso at the time. In addition to serving as an intern in both offices, Alexander also served as a canvasser for Ordaz's re-election campaign.

When asked why he chose to go forward at this time with this information Mr. Alexander stated, "I'm sick of the corruption going on a city hall. I just want to do my part in uncovering it."

1 comment:

Thomas said...

Nothing more than hear say. Jaime I write a lot of e-mails and send them to your e-mail address and then claim I operating under your instructions. Then again there is not e-mail showing you gave me any instructions, no replies to e-mails I sent you but I'm your operative. Also there is nothing unlawfully or unethical in checking out what the others side is doing happens all the time. How many time have you done the same Jaime? Be honest! It called politics. Once again if any one thinks there has been unethical behavior file the damn complaint. They will not and this is just more bull shit on the El Paso biosphere. Let me help you guys out here the form with the city to file an ethics complain.