crrpt-cty-orIn 2004, an FBI agent started to investigate public corruption in El Paso. It started as an investigation into the activities of Bob Jones and it snowballed into the indictments and jailing of various public officials. Many have proclaimed that Poisoned Pawns curtailed public corruption in El Paso. But has it? In the last couple of weeks we have seen that corruption is still very prevalent in El Paso.

The Rent that Isn’t Rent

According to the few court records I have seen and various news media reports, it now appears that the rent that the El Paso Children’s Hospital is supposed to be paying is “rent” in name only. I have previously questioned why it is that the children’s hospital is required to pay rent when the taxpayers paid for the building. It is the inconvenient question that Veronica Escobar is being forced to confront.

It turns out that the rent isn’t really rent, but a way for UMC to get more federal dollars. In other words, they are lying about rent in order to bring in more federal money. Isn’t that what Bob Jones is in jail for? Didn’t he lie to the federal government to get federal dollars?

That leaves only one question no one seems to want to tackle. What is the difference between paying a fictitious rent to get more federal dollars and lying to the federal government about individuals with disabilities for federal dollars? I see no difference, yet one individual is in jail for it.

City Manager Asked to Remove Opponent’s Political Sign

The Claudia Ordaz text messages revealed many examples of ethical issues at the city and the county. One thing that has been ignored is that a government officials seems to have attempted to interfere with her opponent by asking her employee, the city manager, to task one of his department’s to remove her opponent’s political sign during a city election.

That simple fact is sufficient to demand an investigation into. Yet, there are only crickets coming out of the political realm of the city and the news media.

I was sued by Larry Medina under the Texas doctrine of “corporate donations” to political candidates. As you know, Larry Medina is corrupt and he was attempting to silence my medium that was being used by people to let everyone know how corrupt he is. The basis for his lawsuit was a ten year old thermal fax machine that was sitting in my office. The El Paso Times, through Bob Moore’s protégé, Daniel Borunda targeted me and my company to help out Larry Medina.

In the end, Larry Medina went to jail for public corruption and I now blog about the many other instances of ongoing corruption in the city.

Yet, when there is evidence of misuse of power the only thing you hear from the El Paso Times, masquerading as a newspaper, is the deafening silence that is driven by corruption.

In regards to the appropriateness of Ordaz being coached during a city council meeting, the voters on my unscientific poll overwhelmingly (>80%) agree that it was inappropriate.

Special Favors Street Paving

Larry Romero has been accused of improperly interfering with the city manager form of government. It has been alleged by various sources that Larry Romero ordered streets paved for favored campaign donors. It has also been alleged that Romero had his own street repaved improperly.

The allegations are serious examples of public corruption, if they turn out to be true. However, in typical El Paso fashion, I expect the political wagons to circle. The reasons vary by political faction. The mayor’s office wants to keep the lie going that “it’s all good in El Paso,” as evidenced by his State of the City address. The Veronica Escobar faction, along with the Vince Perez faction wants to distract from the Ordaz text messages and the El Paso Children’s Hospital issues respectively.

And then you have the other politicians who have their own political shenanigans they want kept hidden as well as the ones that just have no clue. Top all of that up with a voter base that just doesn’t care and you can see where all of this is going. No where.

Filing Complaints

Finally, I’d like to respond to a reader who posts under the handle “Thomas.” The reader has been challenging the bloggers, like me, to file ethics and criminal complaints based on the allegations we have been making. I agree that if we believe there is wrong doing we should file the appropriate complaints. I cannot comment about the other bloggers but in my case, I’ve been there and done that and I was basically told to take a hike by public officials.

On my blog post of July 29, 2015, I showed you how the Texas Ethics Commission and the Texas Secretary of State basically told me to go away when I brought to their attention alleged violations of the Texas election code by Steve Ortega. I had documented how I believe Steve Ortega received a corporate campaign donation in violation of Texas law. I attempted to file an ethics complaint in order for it to be investigated.

In “Lavandose Las Manos: Why You Can’t Hold Politicians Accounting” I explained how the Texas Ethics Commission does not accept complaints from residents who do not live in Texas and who do not own Texas real estate. I live in Florida. I did not give up and therefore I decided to file the complaint with the Texas Secretary of State. The Texas Secretary of State told me to file my complaint with the Texas Ethics Commission, who did not want to hear from me. In other words, no Texas official cared about the allegation that I made.

That leaves only one option for me and that is to expose the corruption I believe is happening by writing about it. This is what I am doing. If “Thomas” or anyone else feels that there is something else I should be doing I would entertain suggestions.

And there you have it. Many examples of possible corruption but like in all corrupt cities the end result will be – nothing.

Martin Paredes

Martín Paredes is a Mexican immigrant who built his business on the U.S.-Mexican border. As an immigrant, Martín brings the perspective of someone who sees México as a native through the experience...

15 replies on “Corruption In El Paso”

  1. The situation that has been ongoing for over a week has clearly showed that what has been said for years.

    That is once the politicians are elected, they undergo a mental change. The title and authority gives them a feeling of invincibility and superior intelligence. They become very condesening and dismissive. In a way, it’s an expected response. They know they will re-elected not because of excellent service but because roughly only 10% of the people voted, the rest don’t. Out of the ten, I would guess 7 will vote as drones. So why should the politicians worry.

    Maybe there is some truth to the ongoing comment that voting is not going to change anything. Everything is decided before hand. The winner and losers are pretty-selected. Then the musical chairs starts. Nothing changes.

    My guess Romero was thrown in to distract the public about Ordaz. We can’t afford to forget or minimize their conduct of the peoples’ business. The same suspects keep showing up at the scene. Look at the disarray at the city and county. Same people every time! Three of them should be fired or recalled, the last one needs to be denied access to the officials until there is proof of being a bonafide reporter. It’s a sad shame when the same people can cause disruption and failures without fear. Even worse, they send their mange infected and toothless hounds to make feeble threats and accusations to silence others.

    How much does bad it have to get for the state and federal officials to initiate investigations. After all, the hospitals have admitted to fraud of government funding. The money will have to be repaid, the rent is overdue and many have destroyed their creditability. Again the same shadows appear in the background.

    Martin, the more you pay attention to an annoying bark, the more it continues. You’re doing a great job. Ignore the barking and the origin of it will retreat into the lonely dark basement.

  2. Yep Martin here is the problem you can catch them red handed and the Politicians will cove it up. Most times if you can take them to court on it and can afford the lawyers then you have a chance. I am not tell any one not to try but from time to time the little guy does win a small victory.
    Your County Attorney to your D.A. to local law enforcement all have failed in this job of oversight. Then again the people of El Paso keep electing these same people that fail them in stopping the corruption and do not demand better. Sadly these elected officials in El Paso they all feed from the same trough and in doing so will always act to protect their own self interest and not the interest of the people. Martin you will see again this year El Paso elect the same people who’s job it is to protect the people from the corruption and do not. Martin in this last week their have been many claiming some level of corruption but none will attempt a complaint or band together to carry a complaint. EL Paso elected officials see this and know they have won no matter what they do. Martin for most if they can’t get the out comes they want in a short period of time than they quit. It’s not a sprint people it’s a marathon when dealing with corruption in government and if our elected officials see you as a sprinter they know just to wait and you will go away. Sorry this is your fault people because you will not go for the long haul.

  3. Martin,

    Any ideas about this “Bobby” character that was mentioned in the Ordaz texts?



  4. I am so disgusted with Claudia Ordaz that I regret ever voting for her. I don’t think I’ll ever vote again because they are all crooks, everyone of them.

  5. Now we find out Larry Romero is nominating Carlos Aguilar for the City Plan Commission! WTF?

    Even the Times reported this. No surprise though, because Aguilar is not part of the new progressives that EPT runs defense for.

  6. I am so tired of all of the negativity. Can’t you find something good about El Paso to write about? Is your hatred for El Paso so bad that you see nothing good about our city. I am done with this blog.

    1. Something good? How about El Paso is the American face of Mexico. If Mexico designed a city and imposed an American legal structure over it, it would be El Paso.

      Mexico is all good, right?

  7. You could be more specific about defining corruption. It is not illegal or corrupt to give a politician a large campaign contribution and then to receive largess from the public body of which the politician is a representative, e.g., a stadium for your AAA team or tax abatements for your investments. It is just the way the system works, probably everywhere.

    In El Paso, because its citizens don’t give a shit about their city and prove it by not voting or engaging in civic life and demanding more from their media, this just happens to be more concentrated and hence more visible.

    1. Bingo Jerry. You could call it “bartering” also. As in I donate a Med School or Nursing School and you give me a free baseball stadium where I demand where you put it regardless if you have tear down a perfectly good building. You also allow me to donate a building from the early 1900’s where my company does all the remodel work for the tune of around 18 million.

  8. Ema, burying your head in the sand doesn’t make it disappear. Sometimes one has to confront unpleasant situations.

    Redacted, that’s funny but very true.

    The one thing that is overlooked is the free tickets and special seating at events. What does a corporation or a family pay for a reserved box ? Bet the gift is over the limit.

  9. It’s because they live outside the area that they have a better perspective than those that never leave thus blind to the truth

  10. Jerry K, Redacted and John Dungan…you just made the case for complacency. Congratulations. Idiots, the whole lot.

  11. Your so right not only are the politicians corrupt,the courts and law enforcement are too nobody ever looks into how the courts prosecute these politicians,and law enforcement that break the law ever get jail time,please look into the courts how they handle cases you’ll see what they do to innocent people and mishandled cases,

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