Monday, December 14, 2015

Noe Alleges Info Withheld from City Council by City Attorney

Last night on ABC 7 Xtra there were two things that were alleged that I don't think have been mentioned before and at least one of them has the potential to be yet another problem that has to be fixed at city council.

First lets look at the dramatic part. In the video below at around the 13:00 minute mark City Rep Ordaz is being questioned by host Maria Garcia about a meeting between Ordaz and City Manager Tommy Gonzalez regarding Noe Hinojosa. I haven't heard this story before but from the conversation it appears Ordaz is basically saying Gonzalez has been less than truthful about when he met Noe Hinojosa. Garcia understands the gravity of what is being said and from what I gather in the piece she's asked Gonzalez about this before so she pretty much corners Ordaz about whether she is 100% sure of what took place.

Ordaz elaborates about a text message that was allegedly mistakenly sent to Noe Hinojosa instead of Representative Noe and herself from the city manager. Ordaz says she wondered how is it that Gonzalez said he didn't know Hinojosa but he had his phone number saved in his phone.

Insert dramatic sound effect in your head here.

For me that wasn't the biggest issue raised last night. Far more troubling is what Rep Noe alluded to in the early part of the broadcast.

Representative Noe, who later outlined some of the real problems that council is having with the City Attorney's Office like not being fully responsive to ORR's, basically alleged that the City Attorney either doesn't divulge, or doesn't completely divulge information to the city council because she doesn't want the media to get it.

That is a huge bombshell. City Attorney Firth is NOT elected like the County Attorney is. Frankly I'm with Rep Noe on this one, I think there should be some clarity on exactly who is her boss, council or the mayor.

But under what authority would a city manager even have to withhold information from council? Her job is to advise council. Furthermore, withholding information, if that is in fact true, is influencing policy in a way that exceeds her job description.

Her job is to advise them if what they are doing is legal or not. Her job is not to advise, nor shape the outcome of policy decisions through the exclusion of information, them on matters of policy or what they can or cannot release to the media or public outside of legal considerations.

To me, that is the bigger issue and one that, if true, is a big problem.

Politically I think Noe has a big problem on his hand. He's going to go down as the guy that went to bat for this city manager. He's termed out and isn't viable for another office, but you still don't want to go down as the guy that defended Gonzalez.


Courthouse Ghost said...

Hate to nag, but...

The Lion Star said...

Working on another post. It will include the cat video of the day.

Courthouse Ghost said...

I love this blog!

Anonymous said...

Does it seem at times that Rep Noe has a blank stare in his eyes at times?