During Larry Medina’s sentencing some Information was revealed that should be of interest to those who follow the political shenanigans of El Paso politicians, especially today’s debacle concerning the downtown arena.
According to the El Paso Times report on February 19, during Medina’s sentencing his attorney tried to minimize Larry’s criminal participation. To which Judge Montalvo rebuked by pointing to a wiretap in which Medina’s voice is heard.
The local paper quotes Judge Montalvo reading the following from the transcript where Marc Schwartz thanks Medina for his help.
“We want to thank you for all of the s— you did for us when you were in city council”.
We already know, from the court hearing that Larry Medina is corrupt and we also know that Dolores Briones appointed him a County Commissioner to further serve the corrupters.
What we don’t know is what “sh—“ did Larry perform for those pulling his strings at city hall.
Larry Medina was a city representative from 1997 to 2003. In 2001, City Council elected him Mayor Pro-tempore.
From 1997 to July 2001, City Council representatives were Jan Sumrall, Rose Rodriguez, John Cook as District 4 representative, Presi Ortega, Paul Escobar, Luis Sariñana and Elvia Hernandez. The mayor was Carlos Ramirez.
With much fanfare Ray Caballero was elected mayor and took office in June 2001.
He appointed Susie Byrd as one of his executive secretaries. Byrd had been his campaign manager. He also hired Veronica Escobar as his communication’s director.
Also by July 2001 Dan Power had replaced Presi Ortega and Anthony Cobos had replaced Elvia Hernandez.
Ray Caballero is best remembered as spearheading the effort to use eminent domain to take land from homeowners around Thomason Hospital in an attempt to create the Border Health Institute (BHI), now known as the Medical Center of the Americas.
Caballero and his cohorts also wanted to remove millions of dollars of railroad tracks, at taxpayer expense, to build an elusive giant central park in the middle of town and Ray Caballero advocated and attempted to create a downtown arena.
We can construe from the published wiretaps that Larry Medina corrupted City Hall, so now let’s examine each of the players in Larry’s crew at city hall.
Susie Byrd was appointed by Ray Caballero as one of his executive assistants in 2001. In that capacity, Byrd was active in coordinating the Tax Increment Finance (TIF) Districts that gives the government extended powers to take property via eminent domain, for Ray Caballero’s Border Health Institute (BHI), now the Medical Center of the Americas. Byrd was the target of a citizen driven recall petition in 2006 that was ultimately rejected by the city.
Today, Susie Byrd is the city representative for District 2 and one of the biggest proponents of the downtown arena. She continues to be vocal against the power of citizen driven initiative petitions to force city government to take action. As Caballero’s executive assistant she must have dealt extensively with Larry Medina, especially on the issue of the smoking ban ordianance.
John Cook was a sitting city representative while Larry Medina was in office. Now, as mayor, John Cook appointed Larry Medina to the El Paso Housing Authority (HACEP) twice, in 2005 and then in 2007. This was at the height of the turmoil at the housing authority. Cook went so far as to ask for the entire HACEP board’s resignation in order to forestall the city council from taking over the mayor’s duties in regards to HACEP. John Cook also gave Larry Medina the Conquistador Award in 2009.
Paul Escobar was an active supporter of Ray Caballero’s initiatives while at City Council. In 2004, Paul Escobar was the subject of the first certified citizen driven initiative recall petition, in part for his support of the Caballero flights of fancy. On November 30, 2011, Paul Escobar was arrested at the court house for failure to meet his child support obligations. On December 1, 2011 he was released from jail after posting $10,000 of about $80,000 he was in arrears in his child support payments. He was ordered to pay an additional $27,000 by January 27, 2011. Paul Escobar is related to David Escobar who was recently sentenced to jail on public corruption charges and to Veronica Escobar.
Veronica Escobar is related to Paul Escobar (see above) and to David Escobar now sitting in jail for public corruption. She was Ray Caballero’s communications director during Larry Medina’s tenure at city hall. Veronica Escobar actively supports the downtown arena.
The self-proclaimed ethics champion Jan Sumrall can best be remembered by her fictitious Bachelor’s degree from Brentwick University, a degree mill from England. Sumrall proudly touted her diploma mill degree on her office wall and in interviews with the local paper. Jan Sumrall was a strong supporter of the Caballero regime.
Why is it that we are still facing the same challenges of corruption in the city and political shenanigans from 2001 and the same people are still in the limelight?
Where is the “end public corruption” outrage from the individuals above? Especially Susie Byrd and Veronica Escobar who proclaimed corruption was holding the city back? And yet worked closely on behalf of Ray Caballero to get Larry Medina to push forward public policy.
Without Larry Medina’s undying support for Ray Caballero’s controversial public policy initiatives none would have seen the light of day.
Is Larry Medina just another “useful idiot” that should now be discarded?
Byrd and Escobar had to have worked closely with Medina. So where are they now?
Veronica Escobar is the sitting County Judge actively supporting the controversial arena.
Susie Byrd is one of the city representatives voting to support the downtown arena and actively stifling a public vote on it.
More importantly, where is their outrage for Larry Medina’s corrupt ways?
Could it be that Larry’s crimes hit too close to home?
The question that demands to be answered but will probably never be is who or what did Larry Medina do at City Hall that benefited the corruptors?
In other words, what was Larry’s “s—“?