I am sure most of you noticed something that struck me interesting when I was putting together the various Poisoned Pawns links charts, the absence of the City of El Paso. With the various controversies involving the ballpark and the other hullabaloos surrounding the public agenda policy initiated by Ray Caballero I found it curious that none of the Caballero groupies have been implicated in the corruption permeating the city.
Oh, they have ties to several of the criminals that have gone to jail or are in jail yet their names are relegated to footnotes buried deep never to see the light. Is it really possible that they are squeaky clean and above the corruption or are they so adept at playing the game that they know how to stay out of trouble? As I read the court proceedings, something stood out for me, the use of intercepted recordings of meetings and telephone calls. Those that pleaded guilty basically admitted their guilt via their own voices in various recordings.
So this got me wondering, is this why the city is so intent in keeping the emails about the ballpark secret? Is there something in the emails that the city knows would invite a visit from federal investigators? Hmmm, let’s look at what we know so far.
First, the city continues to spend money keeping emails secret.
Next, we know that during a wiretapped conversation between Marc Schwartz and Larry Medina, Schwartz thanked Larry Medina for the “sh-t” he did for them at the city. I’m sure you remember how instrumental Larry Medina was as a city representative for Ray Caballero’s public policy agenda. You might also remember that Susie Byrd and Veronica Escobar worked closely on Caballero’s agenda along with Larry Medina.
Remember how Larry Medina crashed in the Chihuahuan desert, returning from a fishing trip with architects looking for government work? He was a city representative at the time. Medina was also involved in controversies at the El Paso Housing Authority as a commissioner.
And let’s not forget Larry’s penchant for claiming to have received the most Conquistador awards from the city.
In fact, during Ray Caballero’s heydays at the city some of us referred to his political enablers Jose Rodriguez and Eliot Shapleigh as the “three amigos”.
It was under Jose Rodriguez’ watch at the County that the corruption was running rampant. In fact, as the county’s lawyer, it was Rodriguez’ job to ensure that corruption wasn’t running rampant at the county. How many investigations did Jose Rodriguez oversee during the many years of public corruption right under his nose? Hmmm….
But wait, I’ve got more. In 2009, after the corruption scandal was reverberating across the community, guess whom Frank Apodaca, one of the ringleaders of the citywide corruption, listed as personal references on his 2009, job resume? He listed five individuals. Ray Caballero and Eliot Shapleigh were two of his personal references.
Why would Apodaca list them if he didn’t know he could count on them for his next job? Obviously, he listed them because he knew he could count on them to give him a good reference. Why is that?
Let’s move on to the next thing. We know that one of the bribers is currently cooperating with the FBI identifying a construction group who got together ostensibly to bribe officials for government work. We also know that CF Jordan was front and center and yet somehow only their employee and a subcontractor are jailed?
Guess who owns CF Jordan now? In August 2013, CF Jordan was purchased by Paul Foster. Foster is one of the owners of the team playing at the new ballpark, paid for by the taxpayers. Before Foster purchased CF Jordan, guess who the city awarded the contract to build the ballpark? CF Jordan, hmmm.
So, I ask again, why is the city absent in the public corruption cases? Why is the city still trying to hide emails?
These are questions that apparently no one wants answered. I wonder why?
Some of you let me know that the Poisoned Pawns Operation materials I posted yesterday were hard to follow. So I put together an infographic linking the crimes with the individuals. I hope this helps. The numbers next to the crimes are the numbers on my write up from yesterday.