Many of you already know that Jaime Abeytia is no longer on the public’s dole working for Vince Perez. As some you may have noticed, last Tuesday, August 5, I tweeted that I had confirmed that Jaime Abeytia had left the county. A reader had kindly sent me the tip earlier in the day. The El Paso Times, masquerading as a newspaper, published an article on August 8 stating that Abeytia had resigned his position.
According to the article by Aileen Flores, Jaime Abeytia resigned on August 1. Flores quotes Vince Perez as stating that the resignation had nothing to do with Jamie Abeytia’s pending criminal cases. As you probably already know, Jaime has two pending cases, one for “breech of computer security” and another one for displaying “harmful material to a minor”. You likely also know that Abeytia has a vast criminal record. You can read more about his criminal past at “Jaime Abeytia Just Another Symptom of El Paso Corruption”.
However, the question that begs to be answered is why did Jaime Abeytia leave now? The newspaper account clearly shows that Abeytia does not have a new job lined up. In fact, Flores quotes him as stating that he is “looking forward to continuing down this road of success with friends, colleagues, and community leaders in advocating for a better El Paso”. That does not sound like someone with a job, or future prospects waiting for him but rather someone who has found himself suddenly with nothing to do.
As we do not have the fact before us, we are left with speculating about what has transpired. As you all know I like to connect the dots. Jaime Abeytia was originally charged with a State Felony on February 2013. It was later dropped to a misdemeanor charge. Two of them to be exact. You also know that Vince Perez had put on Abeytia on the taxpayer dole earlier that same year ostensibly as his community outreach aide. Although Perez put Jaime Abeytia on leave for a few days, he later reinstated him just days later.
Although there was much public commentary about keeping Jaime Abeytia on the county payroll, Vince Perez resisted community pressure to terminate him due to the pending charges. Now, all of sudden Jaime is out. Why?
Let’s look at what has happened recently. Public scrutiny has intensified at the county due to tax increases and the controversy surrounding the Children’s Hospital. You will also note that the El Paso Times focused two articles on a political consultant, Carlos Sierra and his own criminal problems. Notice how the local paper focused on whom Sierra helped with their election campaigns? Those would be the political faction opposed to the Veronica Escobar-led public policy agenda.
With the paper’s interest in criminally tagged individuals and politicians I imagine that the value of Jaime Abeytia to Veronica Escobar and cohorts become more expensive than what he was worth for their efforts. His pending criminal case is currently scheduled for an October trial. Whether the trial is held on that date is still to be determined.
However, the unwanted attention to his criminal past and his connection to Veronica Escobar and Vince Perez must have had an impact on Abeytia’s continued employment at the county. It appears Escobar would rather avoid as much controversy now that she is implementing tax increases and is having to referee a battle between two of her favorite public entities – the Children’s Hospital and UMC.
Allowing Jaime Abeytia to remain on a taxpayer-supported salary is unseemly during times of tax increases and thus Jaime Abeytia’s departure from the county was likely a result of political necessities.
In my opinion, an appropriate ending to an appointing made for political necessities to begin with. (corrected typo as of 13:25 ET)