As many of you probably already know, Ann Morgan Lilly is being investigated by the El Paso Police Department on allegations of threatening a city employee. According to media reports, city employee Jose Fierro called 911 alleging that he was threatened by Ann Morgan Lilly when he notified her that he would have to trim a tree that was blocking a stop sign.
According to the information we currently have, the incident happened on October 21, 2013. Although we do not have all of the information about this incident what we do know already should be troubling to the community. First, this is not the first time an allegation of abuse by Morgan Lilly that has become public knowledge. Second and although all citizens should be treated equally under the law the current and the previous Ann Morgan Lilly issues plainly shows that in El Paso not all citizens are treated equally by the police department.
In 2005, Don Martinez alleged that he had a physical altercation between himself and Ann Lilly Morgan and her husband, Rutledge Lilly at a property at 9033 Billy the Kid. Martinez describes what happened during a telephone interview I conducted with him yesterday, October 28, 2013.
Don Martinez states that on a Saturday morning he inadvertently cut a wire that set off a fire alarm. When the fire department responded he told them he would get the wire fixed. Martinez told me that he called the alarm company and that he had agreed to pay for the damaged wire. About 20 minutes after the fire department had left Martinez told me that “Rut Lilly called and demanded I meet him at the building immediately.” After explaining to Lilly that Martinez would be taking care of the bill and that he had already made arrangements to have it repaired, Lilly hung up. About 20 minutes later, Ann Morgan Lilly and her husband show up when an altercation ensued.
According to Don Martinez, he asked Ann Morgan Lilly various times to keep her husband away from Martinez when the altercation escaladed resulting in Ann Morgan Lilly allegedly throwing water at Martinez from a bottle of water she was carrying. At that point, it is unclear how, allegedly Ann Morgan Lilly ended hanging on David Laub’s back hitting him with a bottle of water as the confrontation continued. At this point 911 was called at the suggestion of Dwight Jefferson. According to Martinez’ account; Jefferson is a former employee of the sheriff’s department and Jefferson and Laub worked with Martinez and were present at the incident.
Don Martinez told me that he filed a police report at the urging of David Laub. Martinez has previously cited EPPD Case 05-220165 to back up his claims. Martinez told me that the following Monday an El Paso Police detective interviewed Martinez and the two witnesses. At that point the detective allegedly told Martinez that the city attorney’s office was involved and subsequently the detective was allegedly pressured to drop the case by the city attorney’s office.
Ann Morgan Lilly had just been elected to office.
As you can tell by the lackluster reporting on Morgan Lilly’s current legal issue and the further lack of reporting on the previous police investigation against her this leads us to the issue of the notion of special treatment for public officials.
I realize that at this point all we have is incomplete information and allegations of wrongdoing. However we now know that this is not the first time allegations of assault and threats have been levied against Ann Morgan Lilly. There have also been civil lawsuits filed against her alleging impropriety. This leads me to the use of a police “Special Investigation Group”.
The very notion of a “Special Investigation Group” within the police department creates the assumption that there are two classes of people that are investigated by the police department under two different sets of procedures. One, the normal citizen, is subjected to a standard process dictated by the policies of the police department as articulated by their prosecution of cases.
The other “set of individuals” can best be described as “special” by the title of the police unit that conducts investigations of certain individuals. By their very nature, the process that the police “Special Investigations Group” use is secretive in nature giving rise to the notion of special treatment. Whether the investigation is thorough or not is irrelevant by the fact that elected officials and other people designated as VIPs are processed by the police under a different set of rules.
This is not an equal application of the laws and police processing rather it is the special treatment of elected officials and it should not be allowed to stand. For the law to be equal all citizens should be treated equally both at the investigative level and obviously at the prosecutorial level.
Having Ann Morgan Lilly investigated by a “Special Investigation Group” clearly demonstrates that in El Paso there are two classes of people, your everyday El Pasoan and the very important people that are given preferential treatment at all levels. As such, unless Ann Morgan Lilly is transparently and effectively held to account the notion of preferential treatment in El Paso will remain engrained in the community consciousness.