The El Paso Times seems to be the only media outlet that has been able to confirm the resignation of City Rep Larry Romero that occurred late on Thursday.
Don't forget, Thursday is the Friday for city council. So when you "take out the trash" - media speak for releasing bad news - you do it right before the weekend in an attempt to minimize the coverage on the weekend news cycle.
Look, there's a lot of people that have contacted me and said that they think that Romero's exit from the city council is just all too convenient in terms of timing because of the increase scrutiny he is about to face.
Basically they are saying he's faking it.
Personally I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt. It would take a level of douchedom not seen since the last time Ali Razavi bathed himself in some cologne named after a day of the week in French, shaved his neck and back, and tried to get laid to actually fake a stroke.
Romero went to the hospital and I assume there was some diagnosis relating to the stroke, so he's clearly not faking the stroke.
Now, how severe was the damage? I'm not a doctor so I certainly can't speak to that with any level of authority.
But those that believe he's over-stating the severity of his health condition in order to have an artful way of leaving council on (somewhat) his own terms point to his business being in the busiest time of the year and he goes to work at his business regularly.
Romero and City Manager Tommy Gonzalez, are being investigated by someone hired by the city to look into several alleged improprieties. The resignation came just three days after the Ethics Commission sent him a list of questions regarding the investigation.
So as a result, more than a few people around town are saying that he's just using illness as a cover story to avoid having to face the music. The reality is that at some point the media is going to show up at his house or at his business and stick a camera in his face because they are only going to take comment from his wife for so long before they collectively decide that they need to get answers from him. I assume documentation of just how severe the stroke was and whether he's really resigning because of the inquiry will be asked.
What do I think? I think the vato has been under a lot of stress for several months over all the scrutiny and for a man his age, a stroke is certainly possible.
I think the question now arises at this point about what happens with ethics complaint. Since the ethics complaint was leveled at Romero, does it now die? If there were anything uncovered that may warrant the need for law enforcement to investigate further does the Ethics Commission had that info over?
Does this mean Romero escapes accountability if there is ultimately any findings?
Stay tuned - the blogosphere is probably going to explode over this issue and there will be posts about process and possible candidates coming soon.