Last Tuesday, two incumbent candidates pulled off the unlikely win over their opponents in their respective runoff races. Conventional wisdom holds that incumbents forced into a runoff election are unlikely to keep their office. Jaime Esparza pulled off the unlikely win and remains the District Attorney for El Paso. Although not a candidate for office, Joyce Wilson pulled off a win as well, on the coattails of Jaime Esparza.
There remains unanswered question for the taxpayers of El Paso in regards to $20+ millions of dollars that have been added to the burden borne by the El Paso taxpayers. It all relates to the controversial ballpark spearheaded by Joyce Wilson while she was the city manager. A City directed third-party investigation has demonstrated that the sale of the ballpark bonds was unilaterally delayed by Joyce Wilson. The delay is costing the taxpayers millions in additional interest expenses.
What remains unanswered is whether laws were broken by Wilson’s unilateral action. Among the laws that may have been broken is whether political favoritism was the cause for the delay. Besides the ethics of such an action, the act of the delaying for political purposes would violate Texas laws governing the political process.
In addition to that, there are laws and city policies regarding the fiduciary responsibility of the city manager that need to be explored. Violating the fiduciary responsibilities carry with them civil and criminal penalties.
As if that wasn’t enough, there are other legal considerations that should be explored as well. Because of the convoluted process that the City embarked upon, there is also a question of whether Joyce Wilson acted in the best interests of the private corporation that oversees the City’s interest in the ballpark. These questions, as well, involve civil and criminal laws.
Unfortunately, the questions do not end there as there is also the question of whether federal securities laws, both civil and criminal may have been violated because the activities documented by the City’s Fischer report includes the sale of financial instruments governed and regulated by federal laws.
As you can see, there are many unanswered questions that demand an answer but you are unlikely to get the answers you deserve.
This is because last Tuesday, Jaime Esparza was reelected as the District Attorney.
Jaime Esparza has yet to successfully prosecute one of the many public corruption cases that have embroiled the El Paso politicos over the last decade. When Jaime Esparza was facing the possibility of losing his seat in a run off, he gleefully held a press conference calling for the Texas Rangers to investigate the activities detailed by the Fischer Report.
Except, that Jaime Esparza neglected to tell you one important detail. It doesn’t matter how well documented the Texas Rangers’ case is because ultimately it rests on Jaime Esparza to actually bring the case to the court house.
Just like Ann Morgan Lilly’s assault case, one of two, mysteriously vanished into thin air, so will the Texas Rangers case against Joyce Wilson vanish as well, regardless of their findings.
So, although the Jaime Esparza is the public winner, the real winner is Joyce Wilson.