Last month, on April 8, to be exact, I shared with you the results of my open records request looking into who had lied about the Cathedral High School traffic calming devices. As you might remember, Larry Romero wrote in his response to Ross Fischer’s question about the devices that he had sent Cortney Niland an email on December 24, 2015. An astute reader to my post; “Someone is Clearly Lying” pointed out that the email had to have been sent in 2014, instead of 2015 because the devices were installed in February 2015. The reader, who posting under the name “Angie” is absolutely correct.
I had taken the date from Romero’s responses and had neglected to double check the chronology. As a result, my original open records request asked for emails sent by Romero and received by Niland on December 24, 2015. After seeing the comment by my reader, I sent in another open records request.
The open records request response that I received clearly shows that Larry Romero sent an email to Cortney Niland’s office on December 24, 2014. This is what he had told the news media and answered in his response to Fischer’s questionnaire, albeit with the wrong date.
According to the response I received, on December 24, 2014 almost at midnight, Larry Romero forwarded an email from Luis Marquez and others to Cortney Niland’s city business email address; “District 8”. On December 29, 2014, Jeremy Jordan forwarded the email to Ted Marquez. Jordan, was formerly Niland’s legislative aide from March 2014 until December 13, 2015, when he was relieved from his city position at the request of Niland, after Jordan had been arrested on a family violence charge.
In the forwarded email, Jordan asked Marquez on what his suggestion would be to obtain the speed bumps in front of Cathedral, although a traffic study completed a “few months back…suggested that the street did not meet the minimal requirements” for the traffic calming devices. Jordan added that he believed that they now had “enough support from the community [to] revisit the situation.”
Presumably, Jeremy Jordan was acting on behalf of his boss, Cortney Niland.
Now the obvious question becomes, did Cortney Niland violate any of the city codes of ethics as the El Paso Times alleges of Tommy Gonzalez and Larry Romero?
As you likely know, on April 13, 2016, Larry Romero accepted a written reprimand by the city’s ethics commission that he had violated the city’s code of ethics three times. All three times were in relation to the paving project near his former home. The commission found insufficient evidence on the other two complaints – the search for a new financial advisor and on the speed bumps in front of Cathedral High School.
The complaint against Tommy Gonzalez remains open, although the city’s own investigator has not reported any wrongdoing by Gonzalez.
What is interesting to ask now is whether Bob Moore, through his newspaper, will call for an investigation and demand the resignation of Niland for the calming devices placed and then removed from in front of Cathedral High School?
We now know that the ethics commission did not find enough evidence to support wrong doing by Romero on the traffic devices. The El Paso Times has alleged that there were violations of the code of ethics. We now also know that Cortney Niland received the email that Romero stated he had sent. Therefore, the question that needs to be asked, did Cortney Niland influence the placement of the traffic calming devices? If so, did she violate the city’s code of ethics?
Finally, will Bob Moore demand an investigation into Cortney Niland as well?