On Tuesday, November 24, 2015, El Paso mayor, Oscar Leeser, issued a short statement asking that the city manager prepare a report on the events surrounding the solicitation to replace First Southwest as the city’s financial services provider. As you likely know, the El Paso Times has reported on Larry Romero’s apparent connection to Estrada Hinojosa and an apparent attempt to have Estrada Hinojosa replace First Southwest.
Although there are many questionable issues surrounding Larry Romero’s tenure as a city representative, they have gone uninvestigated. Likewise, Leeser’s call for a report from Tommy Gonzalez, the city manager, on the timeline that led to the attempted replacement of First Southwest is not a full investigation, it nonetheless is a good start.
Leeser issued the following statement to the news media on Tuesday;
“To ensure that I have all of the facts and can respond to questions and concerns from our community, I am requesting that the City Manager prepare a full report and chronology of events concerning the solicitation for a new financial adviser. I want to know who is responsible, and I believe the information I am requesting will enable City Council to hold individuals accountable for their actions, if necessary.”
If Oscar Leeser is truly serious about holding those “responsible” for the latest fiasco at the city, then we should soon know more about what transpired. There are two ways the report could go down. The first is that it is discussed and vetted through executive session where everything happens behind closed doors or the report is released to the community. If the report is ultimately released to the community, then we should have more facts from which to determine whether Larry Romero and anyone else involved acted properly or not. The community can then take the appropriate actions.
The key will be whether the report is released to the community in its entirety.
If, on the other hand, it is discussed in executive session and not released then we will know that this latest action is nothing more than a continued cover up for malfeasance at the city. Hopefully, we will soon know how transparently this administration wants to act.