Most of you, if not all of you, are aware of the Ross Fisher Ethics Investigation Preliminary Findings and Advice Report dated February 26, 2016 and released by the City. There is much commentary and speculation about the report and its findings online and, of course, by Bob Moore’s newspaper. The report has already generated at least one rebuttal, the one from Joyce Wilson and one criminal investigation orchestrated by Jaime Esparza. Politics and political operatives are working overtime in a public relations effort to continue the charade of “it’s all good in El Paso” and politicos are looking for cover and political points.
For those of us that have been pointing out that the corruption is endemic in El Paso, the Fisher report is the first peel in the complex onion that is El Paso corruption. There are many politicos scrambling to protect their careers and some are even looking for a way to avoid a perp walk on the way to jail. Other politicos are scrambling to bottle up the reality that a multi-year corruption scam may spring some leaks leading to exposing the Caballero-Hunt led public policy agenda that many of us believe is corrupt.
The report may have implicated Joyce Wilson but it is important to note that Joyce Wilson is just a tool to a well-orchestrated scam being perpetuated on El Paso taxpayers since at least 2000. No, the Ross Fisher report has not given us the smoking gun but it has begun to pierce the multi-layered onion of the fraud.
For the first time, the almost 200-page report gives us an opportunity to discuss the ongoing corruption in the city based on a documented process via a report that was generated by an impartial third-party. There was much consternation among certain community members when the City first announced that Ross Fisher had been contracted to investigate various issues involving Tommy Gonzalez and Larry Romero. Some criticized Fisher’s previous professional relationship with the city attorney. Others argued that Fisher was anti-taxpayers in that he works for a legal firm that has been paid by the City of El Paso stymie open records advocates.
There was an almost general consensus that Ross Fisher’s report was just another cover up for the city. Because of this, the Fisher Report is very poignant for those involved in the corruption of the city though a public policy agenda focused on taxpayer funded flights-of-fancy.
The report vindicates the many individuals that argued that the ballpark was nothing more than a scam perpetuated upon the taxpayers.
It is no longer the “crazies” that are questioning the ballpark fiasco.
This is important to understand as we delve deep into what the report exposes.
Because of the importance of what the report is exposing and because of the many political factions posturing and corruptors running for cover, I have decided to share with you my in depth analysis of what the report exposes over the next four days.
Tomorrow, I am going to focus on the ballpark scam and point out what the report exposes about it. It is not as simple as the delay of the bonds.
On, Wednesday, I am going to remind you how the corruptors tried to remove some obstacles in their way by trying to subjugate through intimidation.
On Thursday I am going to show you why Joyce Wilson is hiding behind a lawyer.
On Friday, I am going to tie it all up together on the politics of the corruption.
Before I close, it is important to acknowledge one individual. Oscar Leeser should be applauded for allowing a glimpse into the public corruption that is stymieing the city. I am not sure if he ever intended to let it go this far or if he has an agenda but the fact remains that Leeser commissioned the Norton Rose Fulbright report shortly after he took office. It is that report that exposed the bond sale delay and directly let to the Ross Fisher report. It has been Leeser’s leadership that has forced city council to release the reports that we are using today.
Without these two reports we would not be having this conversation today. Remember, prior to Oscar Leeser it has always been the modus operandi of the City to keep everything hidden and tucked away behind the closed doors of executive session.
Finally, (and some of thought it was going to be short) I would be remiss if I didn’t discuss the Poisoned Pawns public corruption scandal and how it all ties together today.
Some of you might remember that the reason that 40 plus individuals pleaded guilty or were convicted of public corruption did so because of two individuals – Bob Jones and Travis Ketner.
Bob Jones stealing millions of federal funds brought the FBI to town. Travis Ketner freaked out when the FBI came to the County building and as they say, the rest is history.
What hasn’t been discussed is that the investigation of Jones gave certain political operatives an opportunity to dispose of certain obstructionists to their public agenda. Travis Ketner opened up a Pandora’s box that had Veronica Escobar, Bob Moore and cohorts dancing on the streets that Anthony Cobos was about to go to jail.
Like all Pandora’s boxes, once the genie is let out of the box it is extremely difficult to cork it back in. When the dust settled many were rattled but Escobar and cronies sighed a sigh of relief that they were able to remain unscathed.
The ballpark bonds are just the tip of the iceberg and the same promises and scams of the ballpark are the same being perpetuated through the El Paso Children’s Hospital in 2007 and this year.
As you go through my analysis this week, substitute the ballpark for the El Paso Children’s Hospital and I am sure you will see how they correlate to each other.