On Tuesday, November 24, 2015, El Paso mayor, Oscar Leeser, issued a short statement asking that the city manager prepare a report on the events surrounding the solicitation to replace First Southwest as the city’s financial services provider. As you likely know, the El Paso Times has reported on Larry Romero’s apparent connection to Estrada Hinojosa and an apparent attempt to have Estrada Hinojosa replace First Southwest.

Although there are many questionable issues surrounding Larry Romero’s tenure as a city representative, they have gone uninvestigated. Likewise, Leeser’s call for a report from Tommy Gonzalez, the city manager, on the timeline that led to the attempted replacement of First Southwest is not a full investigation, it nonetheless is a good start.

Leeser issued the following statement to the news media on Tuesday;

To ensure that I have all of the facts and can respond to questions and concerns from our community, I am requesting that the City Manager prepare a full report and chronology of events concerning the solicitation for a new financial adviser. I want to know who is responsible, and I believe the information I am requesting will enable City Council to hold individuals accountable for their actions, if necessary.”

If Oscar Leeser is truly serious about holding those “responsible” for the latest fiasco at the city, then we should soon know more about what transpired. There are two ways the report could go down. The first is that it is discussed and vetted through executive session where everything happens behind closed doors or the report is released to the community. If the report is ultimately released to the community, then we should have more facts from which to determine whether Larry Romero and anyone else involved acted properly or not. The community can then take the appropriate actions.

The key will be whether the report is released to the community in its entirety.

If, on the other hand, it is discussed in executive session and not released then we will know that this latest action is nothing more than a continued cover up for malfeasance at the city. Hopefully, we will soon know how transparently this administration wants to act.

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...

5 replies on “Oscar Leeser Calls for Investigation Into Financial Services Solicitation”

  1. What is puzzling is that he would ask the CM to investigate and he knows that the CM could be a participant in the scandal. The decision doesn’t help with creditability or transparency.

    There needs to be an independent outside investigation. The DA is not known for boldness or being aggressive in investigating local government issues. Follow the gravy ? Good, but remember these folks know to operate on the edges of the law to avoid the legal system. The State Ethics should investigate to ensure creditability and legal action if necessary.

    To sweep this under the rug or blame a low level employee will make matters worse. These decisions were initated at the higher levels. This is one red hot issue, but just like the Abeytia and county interference it will slither away. Just like the county problems, they will disappear. Just like the special justice for Morgan and Robinson it will be not talked about and forgotten. The baseball fiasco will continue to be protrayed as a successful venture although it is 22 million in losses and no improvement in new business. Did they learn or even try to sleight of hand tricks with the trolley. No, nothing will change.

    The local governments either ignores or continues to lie about the reason businesses or people don’t want to move here. Read the reports, watch the news, listen to the drum beat and maybe the answer will suddenly appear. People in other cities are not stupid, gullible or indifferent to the El Paso problems. They know. All the toys the government buys will not make the problems become invisible.

    What is it going to take for El Pasoans to say “enough is enough” and take action ! The county still doesn’t get it that Abeytia and others are toxic and like cancer only gets worse, eating away until it is treated. They just don’t get it !

  2. El Paso is trigger happy. Romero and Gonzalez are pendejos for trying to pull this off and thinking they could get away with it.

    Recall Romero & Fire Gonzalez. They are no good for El Paso.

  3. Gonzalez is scum. I can’t understand how this guy got hired in EP after resigning for ethics violations in Irving: . From the first day he got here, he has been doing questionable things such as hiring his former co-worker in Irving, paying her $170,000 and letting her basically live outside El Paso: ;the same coworker whose company was awarded contracts by the city of Irving. He increased his own salary to $300000 under controversial circumstances: This guy seems like he is going from city to city bamboozling tax payers.

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