Report Finds El Paso City Manager Tommy Gonzalez Acted Appropriately But Questions Still Remain
An investigation of El Paso City Manager Tommy Gonzalez has been given to City Council. There is good news for Gonzalez, but some questions remain about his behavior during his time as City Manager.
The report states that Gonzalez acted within his authority and did not violate state law when he gave the go-ahead for the search for a new City financial adviser without a vote from council. There is also nothing in the City Charter that required Gonzalez to get Council approval to start the process of looking for another City financial adviser.
No evidence was found that either Gonzales or Romero would benefit financially if the City had awarded the contract to firm Estrada Hinojosa, the firm for which Romero had worked for previously, but never disclosed that to Council. The investigator found no financial links between Gonzalez, Romero, or any person affiliated with Estrada Hinojosa in Gonzalez's financial disclosures.
The report did highlight three honorarium payments that Gonzalez received from the Quality Texas Foundation, the State office of Risk Management, and the CIA. Gonzalez didn't outline what those honorariums were used for. Under Texas law, public servants are only allowed to accept honorariums for food, lodging, and transportation if they attend conferences or speaking events. The investigator said Council should ask Gonzalez to provide documentation about those payments to help shed light on whether Gonzalez's financial disclosures are accurate and if his outside consulting services are in conflict with his duties as City Manager.
Council is scheduled to discuss the report and potentially take action on it on Monday morning.