I am going to Luther Jones you.” That is a comment I frequently hear. It is in reference to the notion that Luther Jones was targeted by certain individuals in the community in order to remove an obstacle to their public agenda. I have previously written about how certain individuals are targeted for scrutiny while others are allowed to slip under the radar. For example, Larry Romero and Ann Morgan Lilly are example of targeting and covering up for political expediency.

One on hand you have Larry Romero who is currently being scrutinized by the news media for allegations of corruption. While on the other hand, you have Ann Morgan Lilly who was accused on two occasions of assault resulting in at least two criminal investigations started, yet the outcomes remain hidden from the community. In the case of Larry Romero, the El Paso Times and certain politicians have been relentless in keeping Romero in the spotlight of corruption. Contrast this with how the local paper and the politicians treated the criminal allegations against Ann Morgan Lilly. Lilly was criminally investigated but the public microscope was nonexistent. Larry Romero, as much as we all dislike his actions, is not currently under criminal investigation, although he is being scrutinized for ethical problems that might result in criminal investigations, remains on the front page and on the lips of the politicos.

In essence, what you witnessing right now is the selective targeting of wrong doing in order to protect certain individuals and remove obstacles to a public policy agenda. Whether Larry Romero voted against the wishes of a certain political agenda or he is the scapegoat to distract you from the real culprits is immaterial because of the contrast between how he is being treated and how Ann Morgan Lilly was treated is very obvious.

If you shine a spotlight bright enough, almost any public official can be exposed for processes that look unethical or illegal. I firmly believe that all allegations of corruption should be publicly investigated and the spotlight kept on all officials. However, look closely at what is going on currently and you will see how the public perception is being manipulated. Today I am going to focus on how you are being manipulated. Tomorrow I’ll delve into the cover ups I’ll allude about today. And, on Wednesday, I’ll demonstrate to you the hypocrisy.

I’ll Luther Jones you” refers to the notion that if someone does not do as they are told, they will be removed by force through criminal investigations and, or allegations. It has been rumored that politicians receive those words when they are straying from the path they are expected to take.

Today, city council is set to discuss an agenda item posted in executive session. The item, “EX1: Personnel matters regarding City Manager Tomas Gonzalezis purposely titled to make it look was nefarious as possible. It is also designed to create an illusion that will be difficult to pierce. You will notice that all we know is that Tommy Gonzalez will be discussed. We do not know what the allegations are, although most of us are inferring that it has to do with Larry Romero and the financial services contract debacle.

But that is an illusion only.

It is a distraction to protect certain officials and submit others to the will of the political agenda drivers. Tomorrow I’ll delve into the cover ups. Today. Let’s look at the notion of targeting certain officials, looking closely at this latest example.

The executive session item about Tommy Gonzalez is designed to create the illusion that Tommy Gonzalez is at the center of the scandals. Anything discussed in Executive Session is discussed behind closed doors and the participants are prohibited from publicly sharing. Except that insinuations are allowed to slip out and cultivated through online media, water cooler discussions and carefully crafted statements to the news media.

At this point, the only facts we know about the various scandals is that Tommy Gonzalez, as the city’s manager, had a hand in them. We do not know and it has not been demonstrated that he has actually done anything unethical or criminal. Yes, it all looks bad, but a proper criminal allegation has yet to be made.

I am aware of the ethical complaint filed against him by a political operative but let’s look at the actual facts.

As a reminder, the three scandals are the $22 million bond debacle, the Larry Romero affair and the financial services contract. In all three issues, Tommy Gonzalez is at the center of them, not because he was driving them but because, as the city manager, the three issues have to go through him.

Let’s look at them. The $22 million debacle was shepherded by Joyce Wilson, not Tommy Gonzalez. Wilson was at the center of that debacle. The second issue, the Larry Romero street issues were driven by Larry Romero and facilitated by Tommy Gonzalez, either properly or improperly because the fact remains is that we do not know the extent of Gonzalez’ role on the street issues because the investigations are not yet complete. The financial services contract debacle, again, has been alluded to as being driven by unknown city representatives that were “displeased” with First Southwest but no one has named them.

Either Larry Romero is alluding to unknowns to distract you from his own actions are the “unknowns” are being protected. Regardless, Tommy Gonzalez was the conduit to the process to change the financial services providers but not the one who drove that attempt. As a matter of fact, it was Tommy Gonzalez that stopped the attempt to remove First Southwest. That is what the facts have demonstrated so far.

Is it possible that Tommy Gonzalez colluded with Larry Romero and others to circumvent the city’s processes? Yes, and possibly likely, however we do not know yet because no one has all of the facts because a proper investigation has yet to be completed.

According to the El Paso Times (December 9, 2015) it was Oscar Leeser and Cortney Niland that posted the executive session about Tommy Gonzalez on the city’s agenda. However, if you look at the agenda it is attributed to the city attorney’s office. Leeser has been transparent about the attempt to investigate the issues so it is possible that his request to post the item is part of the process he is following.

However, I believe that Niland’s posting of the item is part of a cover up. It is the character assassination of Tommy Gonzalez designed to distract you from the facts. For me, that means that the executive agenda item is being used to protect certain individuals from scrutiny. I’ll have more on that tomorrow. For now, focus on two things, the agenda item creates the illusion that Tommy Gonzalez is the culprit and thus the city council will reprimand him for it. Because it is in executive session the deliberations will be behind closed doors. The illusion will remain regardless of what is discussed behind closed doors.

The most important thing to know is that it is impossible to blame Tommy Gonzalez for any of the scandals because no one knows all of the facts. Unless the executive session item provides proof of other wrong doing by Gonzalez, which is unlikely, then you can clearly see why it is designed to be an illusion. The executive session item is premature without additional facts.

This “illusion” is being perpetuated through the “Luther Jonesing” of Larry Romero and Tommy Gonzalez. They are being sacrificed to keep certain secrets intact.

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...

9 replies on “2015 Cover Up: Luther Jonesing Tommy Gonzalez”

  1. We are waiting for action by the DA in all cases. Robinson got away with mult traffic violations, Lilly is getting away with assault charges., the DA is getting with not providing equal justice.

    The corrupt, unethical and conspirators smell blood in the water. A chance to distract and scream indignation like Jimmy Swaggart. Remember those that. Scream the loudest are usually doing the same thing.

    We didn’t even have an Ethics Committee, that’s how confident they all are. What took the FBI so long ? They won’t even investigate the hospital and county. Could it be because of a federal connection ? Remember the Feds were calling favors to call off the investigation of the “admitted fraud”.

    The traditional watch dog of any city is too busy exploring cavities, up to their necks. The plus side the culprits are free of polyps.

    This whole region needs a complete sweep of the politicians. The obvious result of voting straight ticket, drone voting and not voting is corruption, no ethics and lying and special justice.

  2. If your CC rep isn’t lobbying on your behalf, whether for street improvements or how to get business with the city, he/she isn’t doing their job. I mean, what are they supposed to do? Oh, they are supposed to make “policy.”

    What is “policy?” Do they even have a model for policy-making? Would they understand it if they did have one” Can you define policy?

  3. Al Capone would blush
    If you are expecting the D.A. Esparza to act it is never going to happen. He is blind to corruption in local government even when it is taking place right under his nose. You could have a video of our local elected officials and their minions stealing bags of the people money and our D.A. would do nothing.
    It’s not only our D.A. but also our Sheriff who has failed us in policing the corruption in local government.

  4. Jerry K, lobbying for your district is not the problem here. The problem that stands out is that there is a finite amount of finances for city projects and to “add” items to an already approved list for your district to benefit some of your constituents is not only unethical but just plain not fair. We all have items we would like to see improved or completed but if there is not enough money to go around we simply just need to wait in line. There is something more here that we cannot see and will be revealed in time.

    1. JRod;

      The real problem is that CC has never figured out how to work with a CM and get done what needs to be done in their district. They have abrogated their power to a bureaucrat which is not to say that they could do it better them self. I sometimes think that each CC rep should actually run their district like little mayors, but they’d fuck that up, too. At least there would be accountability and guys like Romero would have only them self to blame when they run out of money doing favors and the garbage hasn’t been collected.

  5. Interesting concept. Give each district a budget and when it’s gone, it’s gone. Require detailed expenditures sheet and do not allow borrowing or donations.

  6. There is a federal connection just look at the names Briones or Montalvo. Pero the Old Guard is not going away without a fight. It all starts with The Texas House seat.

Comments are closed.