An Ethics Complaint And An Independent Investigator – Here’s The Latest From El Paso City Council
El Paso City Council will vote on Monday whether to hire a firm for an independent investigation into the financial adviser controversy.
Earlier this week, Mayor Oscar Leeser asked the internal auditor and the city manager to submit reports as to why some city staff decided to replace the city’s current financial advisor who helped with the ballpark financing. That report apparently was not sufficient, so now Leeser is calling for an independent investigator.
City Rep. Larry Romero and City Manager Tommy Gonzalez are smack in the middle of this controversy. Romero and Gonzalez have said that they wanted to get a new advisor because of questions by a number of city reps, but video of the meeting where they said that happened shows that only Romero had concerns about the financial advisor.
Romero is also facing questions for suggesting the city hire his former business partner, Noe Hinojosa as financial adviser because he twice decided not to disclose his ties with Hinojosa.
A lot of people criticized Leeser for not calling for the independent investigator right off the bat, but I think he did a great job on this. He got the city manager and the internal auditor's sides of the story, and now the independent investigator can compare and contrast the two investigations.
The reason that is important is because you don't want to just make sure future city reps don't do bonehead things like install speed humps that are in violation of city code, but you want to send the message that we are tired of these types of deals being made with taxpayer money.
Good job, Mayor Leeser.