El Paso City Rep. Larry Romero accepted a reprimand from the City’s Ethics Commission earlier this week for his part in the paving of streets that benefited himself and a campaign contributor, but he will not accept calls for him to stop getting a City paycheck.

Romero says he suffered a stroke in December and can no longer attend any meetings as a city rep because of his ill health. But he can work at his tax preparation business and travel to Georgia to watch a golf tournament. ABC 7 asked him about the $3,941 he has gotten in taxpayer money since he stopped showing up for meetings.

Romero said he won’t return the money until other city reps and the mayor give back their pay for meetings they’ve missed.

When it was pointed out that they are still active members on Council, he replied that the City is forced to pay him per state law. Romero said even though he's not going to the council meetings, he speaks to his assistant about twice a week.

That’s all well and good, Mr. Romero, but I would ask how you would feel about paying an employee who has never proven that they had a health issue, resigned from their position, and then continued to take a salary paid out of your pocket and the only work they said they were doing for that salary was ‘calling my assistant a couple of times a week.’

City Rep. Claudia Ordaz plans to take the vote on Romero's City Council absences out of the City's Consent Agenda and move them to a stand alone agenda item during those meetings in order to get three unexcused absences. If that can be done, Romero's payday on the taxpayer's dime can come to an end.

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