Who is Veronica Escobar?
As you can already tell the upcoming election season is going to be a brutal one. With the local paper apparently walling up its content behind a pay wall and the increasing relevance of the online community in influencing the electorate I expect there will be no shortage of political operatives being unleashed as Election Day gets closer.
I also have no doubt that Veronica Escobar’s reelection campaign will be at the forefront of the public perception manipulation agenda of all of the political operatives. Therefore before the attempt to mask the stench of a failed public agenda policy gets underway I thought it would be prudent to give you a quick reminder of who Veronica Escobar is.
Obviously one of the most significant events on the minds of the electorate this election season is downtown redevelopment. Although the city, under the tutelage of Joyce Wilson, has been at the forefront of the downtown stadium fiasco, Veronica Escobar has not only been publicly supportive of the effort but she was also involved with its inception while she worked for Ray Caballero.
Veronica Escobar was Ray Caballero’s Communications Director while Caballero was in office. Ray Caballero initiated a public policy agenda that has culminated in the ballpark fiasco. During her employment at the city it is important to remember that one of the most vocal political supporter’s for the Ray Caballero public policy agenda, was Larry Medina who is currently sitting in jail for public corruption. You might also remember that on my blog post “Et tu, Susie Byrd and Veronica Escobar? What s— did Medina do under your watch?” I pointed out that Medina is in jail for corruption at the County, however during court testimony it was revealed that he was never prosecuted for corruption at the city, although there seems to have been evidenced introduced that he participated in corrupt activities at the city as well.
The question then becomes what did Veronica Escobar know about Larry’s shenanigans at the city, if anything?
El Paso is embroiled in one of the largest public corruption scandals in the community. Although many individuals have been convicted or have pleaded guilty to public corruption there is many more that have yet to be identified or prosecuted. Larry Medina apparently was involved in some type of illegal activity at the city as evidenced at his sentencing however no one seems to have been implicated in that. As before the whisper of wrongdoing continues to circulate the political undercurrent.
In the case of Veronica Escobar, at the same time as she was working for Ray Caballero another family member of hers was an elected official; Paul Escobar. Paul Escobar was arrested on November 30, 2011 at the court house for failure to pay about $80,000 in child support. Guess who Paul Escobar is related to as well?
That would be David Escobar who is currently sitting in jail for public corruption.
On June 24, 2007, with much fanfare Veronica Escobar signed a guest editorial in the local daily vowing for an ethical government.
Yet in November, after it had become clear that Paul Shrode was no longer capable to continue working as the County’s Medical Examiner because of his lying, Veronica Escobar publicly supported keeping him employed at the county.
On February 22, 2010 as the Paul Shrode controversy continued to simmer at the County, Veronica Escobar stated in the news media that “it would be irresponsible for the County to fire someone simply to do the politically expedient thing”.
Keep in mind that a close political ally of hers was running for office at that time and I believe that for Veronica Escobar “doing the right thing” for the County in terminating Paul Shrode would have been detrimental to her political ally’s election. Therefore she did nothing.
Coincidently, a few months later after the election, on May 24, 2010 Veronica Escobar put an item on the County Commissioner’s Agenda calling for the firing Paul Shrode. She voted to fire him.
Apparently the responsibility of doing things because it is the right thing to do rather than the political thing to do does not include her political allies.
How serious were Paul Shrode’s transgressions? On May 18, 2010 the Ohio Parole Board recommended converting the death sentence of a convicted murderer, Richard Nields, to a life sentence. The Board based its decision by questioning the validity of Shrode’s medical testimony.
The electorate repudiated Steve Ortega’s bid for the mayor’s office in the most recent city elections. Steve Ortega is a close friend of Veronica Escobar.
Therefore it is very possible that to avoid the same outcome as Ortega, Veronica Escobar will be enlisting as many of her political operatives as she and her supporters can muster to bury the inconvenient truths about Veronica Escobar and embellish her political persona in order to keep her in play at the County.
Stay tuned, I believe a “scorched earth” political season is about to be unveiled.