As you know, city representatives discussed ethics yesterday at city council. The issue of Larry Romero’s streets was glossed over with Romero remaining quiet during the discussion. Claudia Ordaz, for her part, took the opportunity to take back control of the discussion. Ordaz used the opportunity to drive home the point that she set precedent into how city representatives can make their personal phone available to public scrutiny.
Ordaz pointed out that the software she used can be used to retrieve deleted text messages from mobile phones. Claudia Ordaz asked that the city attorney look into making the software available to city council representatives for text retrieval from their personal phones. Ordaz also asked if the city attorney’s office would provide help in identifying those text messages that are public property and those that are private in nature. Claudia Ordaz stated that she spent an inordinate amount of time going through her text messages to see which were public information.
The city attorney reminded city council that they had agreed, as a council, to not use personal devices to conduct city business on. They are supposed to send any inadvertent messages they receive to the city. The city attorney reminded them that if they “write it down” it becomes a public record. The city attorney also related that David Crowder, who writes for the El Paso, Inc., has been criticizing the city for “over releasing” information to the public.
I am not exactly sure what Crowder’s thinking is, but there you have it.
Claudia Ordaz also related the she received a new open records request from KFOX asking for more texts for another time window.
Michiel Noe, who posted the original agenda item, stated that a “city representative” was demanding that security allow an individual to park in the reserved parking area. Noe, also stated that a “city representative” was going directly to the human resources department asking for information about city employees. Noe did not identify the city representative.
If Noe’s allegations are substantiated then it brings up troubling questions about a city representative violating ethics and possibly the law. Noe did not identify the city representative, although, he seemed to know who it was. This, in itself is wrong because Michiel Noe made the allegation but did not name the city representative he was referring to, leaving a bunch of innuendo about corruption but nothing to back it up with.
A city staff member confirmed that security was being called by a city representative demanding that someone be allowed to park in a reserved area. The human resources department and the city attorney stated that the issue of a city representative calling HR for employee information was not as “bad” as it sounded. However, they pointing out that the process was being bypassed.
In the end, Michiel Noe, rather than putting to rest the notion of corruption at city hall, added to the intrigue by stating that a city representative was demanding parking for someone and that another, or possibly the same city representative, was going directly to human resources.
No substantive action was taken on the item, although a lot of pontificating was postured by some of the city representatives.
A Big Blog Day for Me
Today is a big day for me in the national political realm. Obviously, the most obvious, for some of you, is that today I celebrate my country’s Independence Day. For those of you interested in knowing more about Mexico’s Independence Day and the significance of the Grito you might want to take a quick look at the following video. Know everything you ever wanted to know about Mexico’s Independence Day in less than five minutes.
Tied in with Mexico’s Independence Day celebrations is the upcoming GOP debate scheduled for later tonight. I fully expect the immigration issue to be part of the debate. I am prepared to begin retorting some of the expected distortions that will likely be perpetuated by the politicians.
Look for my commentary on the GOP debate later this week.