In 2004, an FBI agent started to investigate public corruption in El Paso. It started as an investigation into the activities of Bob Jones and it snowballed into the indictments and jailing of various public officials. Many have proclaimed that Poisoned Pawns curtailed public corruption in El Paso. But has it? In the last couple of weeks we have seen that corruption is still very prevalent in El Paso.
The Rent that Isn’t Rent
According to the few court records I have seen and various news media reports, it now appears that the rent that the El Paso Children’s Hospital is supposed to be paying is “rent” in name only. I have previously questioned why it is that the children’s hospital is required to pay rent when the taxpayers paid for the building. It is the inconvenient question that Veronica Escobar is being forced to confront.
It turns out that the rent isn’t really rent, but a way for UMC to get more federal dollars. In other words, they are lying about rent in order to bring in more federal money. Isn’t that what Bob Jones is in jail for? Didn’t he lie to the federal government to get federal dollars?
That leaves only one question no one seems to want to tackle. What is the difference between paying a fictitious rent to get more federal dollars and lying to the federal government about individuals with disabilities for federal dollars? I see no difference, yet one individual is in jail for it.
City Manager Asked to Remove Opponent’s Political Sign
The Claudia Ordaz text messages revealed many examples of ethical issues at the city and the county. One thing that has been ignored is that a government officials seems to have attempted to interfere with her opponent by asking her employee, the city manager, to task one of his department’s to remove her opponent’s political sign during a city election.
That simple fact is sufficient to demand an investigation into. Yet, there are only crickets coming out of the political realm of the city and the news media.
I was sued by Larry Medina under the Texas doctrine of “corporate donations” to political candidates. As you know, Larry Medina is corrupt and he was attempting to silence my medium that was being used by people to let everyone know how corrupt he is. The basis for his lawsuit was a ten year old thermal fax machine that was sitting in my office. The El Paso Times, through Bob Moore’s protégé, Daniel Borunda targeted me and my company to help out Larry Medina.
In the end, Larry Medina went to jail for public corruption and I now blog about the many other instances of ongoing corruption in the city.
Yet, when there is evidence of misuse of power the only thing you hear from the El Paso Times, masquerading as a newspaper, is the deafening silence that is driven by corruption.
In regards to the appropriateness of Ordaz being coached during a city council meeting, the voters on my unscientific poll overwhelmingly (>80%) agree that it was inappropriate.
Special Favors Street Paving
Larry Romero has been accused of improperly interfering with the city manager form of government. It has been alleged by various sources that Larry Romero ordered streets paved for favored campaign donors. It has also been alleged that Romero had his own street repaved improperly.
The allegations are serious examples of public corruption, if they turn out to be true. However, in typical El Paso fashion, I expect the political wagons to circle. The reasons vary by political faction. The mayor’s office wants to keep the lie going that “it’s all good in El Paso,” as evidenced by his State of the City address. The Veronica Escobar faction, along with the Vince Perez faction wants to distract from the Ordaz text messages and the El Paso Children’s Hospital issues respectively.
And then you have the other politicians who have their own political shenanigans they want kept hidden as well as the ones that just have no clue. Top all of that up with a voter base that just doesn’t care and you can see where all of this is going. No where.
Finally, I’d like to respond to a reader who posts under the handle “Thomas.” The reader has been challenging the bloggers, like me, to file ethics and criminal complaints based on the allegations we have been making. I agree that if we believe there is wrong doing we should file the appropriate complaints. I cannot comment about the other bloggers but in my case, I’ve been there and done that and I was basically told to take a hike by public officials.
On my blog post of July 29, 2015, I showed you how the Texas Ethics Commission and the Texas Secretary of State basically told me to go away when I brought to their attention alleged violations of the Texas election code by Steve Ortega. I had documented how I believe Steve Ortega received a corporate campaign donation in violation of Texas law. I attempted to file an ethics complaint in order for it to be investigated.
In “Lavandose Las Manos: Why You Can’t Hold Politicians Accounting” I explained how the Texas Ethics Commission does not accept complaints from residents who do not live in Texas and who do not own Texas real estate. I live in Florida. I did not give up and therefore I decided to file the complaint with the Texas Secretary of State. The Texas Secretary of State told me to file my complaint with the Texas Ethics Commission, who did not want to hear from me. In other words, no Texas official cared about the allegation that I made.
That leaves only one option for me and that is to expose the corruption I believe is happening by writing about it. This is what I am doing. If “Thomas” or anyone else feels that there is something else I should be doing I would entertain suggestions.
And there you have it. Many examples of possible corruption but like in all corrupt cities the end result will be – nothing.