On Tuesday, January 26, 2016, El Paso resident, Barbara Carrasco filed an ethics complaint against Claudia Ordaz. The ethics complaint is based on the text messages between Jose Landeros and Ordaz, that I shared with you last year in “Claudia Ordaz Receives Instructions During City Council Meeting” and “The Claudia Ordaz Text Messages”.

The complaint alleges that Claudia Ordaz disclosed executive session information to Veronica Escobar. The unlawful disclosure of executive session information, without authority, is a Class B misdemeanor (551.146b) in Texas.

According to the complaint; “On June 1, 2015 during an executive closed door agenda-review meeting. Ms Ordaz texted the status of economic incentive negotiations, Executive Items 6 and 7, regarding Sun City’s desire to locate facilities on the east and west side of El Paso, to a member of the public.”

The complaint then adds; “In addition, Ms Ordaz repeated a comment made by another councilman during the executive closed door-review meeting.”

Claudia Ordaz was informing Veronica Escobar about what was being discussed in executive session while the meeting was in progress. It is likely that Ordaz will argue that the information was not privileged or that city council, on occasion, has voted to release executive session material to the public.

The most recent example of city council agreeing to release executive session material is when they released the Norton Rose Fulbright report in December of last year. In that instance, city council voted to release the document to the public. City council rarely agrees to release executive session materials because of the many legal ramifications the releases cause for the city. As a matter of fact, the city is often reluctant to release executive session material to the community

A precedent to this has already taken place and it was fully adjudicated when Melina Castro was the northeast city representative.  On November 10, 2009, Castro and 2 other city council members received a letter from Assistant City Attorney John R. Batoon regarding a settlement to a lawsuit that council discussed in executive session.  Castro responded with a letter of her own, alleging that Batoon’s boss, City Attorney Charles McNabb, had committed various ethical violations in the handling of the age discrimination lawsuit filed against the city by McNabb’s friend, Rita Rodriguez.  Rodriguez had been the city attorney before she was asked to resign by former Mayor Joe Wardy.  The suit was settled, based on McNabb’s recommendation to the mayor and council, for a sum of $500,000, an astronomical settlement to a wrongful termination lawsuit in Texas, which is a right to work state.

As a result of the back-and-forth that between Melina Castro, the city and Charles McNabb over the Rodriguez controversy, Castro filed a lawsuit demanding that she, and her attorney, be allowed to see all of the legal documents in the Rodriguez case. The city had argued that Castro, as a city official could see the documents in executive session but absent a vote from city council authorizing the release of the documents to the public, no one outside of the city representatives, the mayor and the city attorney’s office could see them.

Castro lost the lawsuit demanding that she be allowed to share the documents with her private attorney. After appealing the case she paid the city $30,000 in 2009 for legal fees the city incurred. In essence, the court ruled that executive session material could not be released to any third party without the expressed authority of city council.

City council did not vote to allow Claudia Ordaz to disclose information about Sun City’s request for economic incentives. Yet, Ordaz revealed the results of the executive session deliberations about the incentives to Veronica Escobar, who is not a member of city council. According to Texas law, the unlawful disclosure of executive session information is a Class B misdemeanor.

Barbara Carrasco announced the filing during the call to the public on Tuesday’s city council meeting. CBS4 and KFOX were the only news media outlet to report the filing of the ethics complaint on Tuesday, January 26, 2016. When CBS4 and KFOX asked Ordaz about the filing, Ordaz responded that she did not believe there was an “actual ethic complaint” filed because “council receives copies of those” and she hadn’t received “any indication that anything was filed.” Ordaz added, “I would have received notice right away.”

Obviously, Ordaz was misinformed because as you can see from the city’s date stamp, the complaint was filed on Tuesday morning.

Barbara Carrasco kindly provided me a copy of the complaint. You can view it here. When I asked Carrasco about the filing, she replied that what Ordaz did was “grossly negligent.”

Now that Carrasco has filed the ethics complaint, the city attorney must review and it, and if it is found that the filing meets the legal requirements, it will be forwarded to the city’s ethics commission. However, the complaint alleges that Claudia Ordaz committed a Class B misdemeanor and thus she faces a criminal investigation in addition to the ethics complaint. The question is whether a complaint will be forwarded to local law enforcement, and if so, will the local prosecutor, Jaime Esparza, actually allow it to be adjudicated.

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...

18 replies on “Ethics Complaint Filed Against Claudia Ordaz”

  1. Well, congrats Barbara. Good to see at least one citizen being concerned about office holders accountability.

    Looks like Ordaz is about to get a taste of her vile yellings at the CM. she doesn’t learn. It’s karma. She has plenty to be held accountable. Let her keep listening to the Perv Con and the rest of the string holders at the county.

    The Ethics committee should forward the complain up to the State. To refer the case to the DA is a total waste. We’ll another case of special justice, look the other way.

    It appears the chickens are coming to roost. Same people in the news being associated with unethical conduct. Let’s see how the strings holder pull this one off. Making excuses and failure is a full time job at the county.

    This a golden opportunity to start cleaning house. Start at the city, DA, then the County. Then let’s take a look at the other officials that have been asked to run interference for Escobar about the hospital fraud, mismanagement and debts created by the county commissioners stupidity. I’m curious as to what was discussed about using county time to manipulate city council.

    Ha,ha. Bet she wishes she hadn’t spend all her showboating and yelling at the CM and city attorney. Karma!!

  2. Time To Clean, I wish that were the case. It seems though that none of these people ever seem to face justice…

  3. Vegas, we can only hope that at least one at time, voters wake up. This behavior cannot be allowed to be continue. We are losing industry and families that wanted to move to El Paso until they heard about the corruption, unethical conduct, wasteful spending and stupidity that is the cvornerstone of this region.

    I notice the perv con is at it again with amateurish attempts to twist the truth and distract semantics. He never misses an opportunity to grab the spotlight in fake effort to save Ordaz’s honor. hhmmm, is there something we don’t know? Suspender(wanna Larry King) boy is awfully silent .

    Incredible, that she still allows the perv con speak for her. That is absolutely a sure sign of indecisiveness and poor judgement. At least Ted Bundy knew what he was talking about. This idiot only succeeds in digging the hole deeper.

    Oh well, she deserves the investigation and stop her political ambitions now. Voters time to forget party politics and dismantle the Chicago wanna be politicial junk. Send the machine to the junk yard !

    We need statesmen(that includes women), have to be PC.

  4. I don’t understand why you all read this crap! This guy has no clue how to put a sentence together. The El Paso Times did a super job in reporting about this frivolous filing. Jaime Abeytia did a great job exposing Martin’s hypocrisy. I can’t link it because Martin will take it down but just Google Jaime’s blog. Stop drinking the Kool Aid!

    1. nobody reads Jaime’s blog because its crap. He hardly has any comments anymore. This is obviously Jamie posting hoping everyone will think its DavidK. David always post with his K attached. oh, and pay your child support deadbeat.

      1. No,
        Justa… I am Jaime Abeytia. And if you judge readership based on comments you’re dumber than Martin. I love people like you because the minute you asshats are confronted you usually go run and hide. I usually don’t engage people with fake names, but for you I make an exception. It takes more balls/ovaries to post your real name and stand by what you say.

        So I got your thot right here…

      2. Why don’t you take your “thot” and go to Arizona and pay your child support ? What ? No more smart azz comments about that ? Sounds like you ran and hid here in El Paso than go to Arizona.

  5. One only needs see the ballpork fiasco and know 10 million here, 22 million there, un approved paved streets, 70 unfinished or not started projects, previous clown council members like Ortega, Byrd and Grama Lilly…..and countless others like the “we left $100 dollars in the bible group” Thiefs, liars and incompetence. So Dav what we’re not reading or caring about is your statement…….

  6. At one time I thought Ordaz might be a role model for young women. Instead, she’s on the way to being just another corrupt drunken politician with the perv blogger supporting her just like Escobar.

  7. Jaime leave you full name and explain how and for what you want to sue me. You have no money and no lawyer will take your case or the city council bimbo’s for free.

  8. Jaime,

    Leave the super size fries and sue someone that does something that is actually actionable. If you can afford the attorney to sue, you’d be better off using it to support your kids.

  9. Haha, business must be slow over at the pervs den. No one bothers to eat his garbage. Either he lies or uses people. He preys on the weak minded that can’t think for themselves, ain’t that right Ordaz?

    On the other hand, he too stupid to realize that he is being used as a flunky by Escobar and company. He really believes he is one of “them”. So what heck, bs him into believing one and keep using him.

    Get off your perverted fat azz and try manning up to responsibilities. He is such a bad azz, notice he avoids Arizona,. Child support, failure to appear, outstanding traffic violations. He would enjoy his pink underwear in the county jail. Just wait till they would hear about his pervetted ways. Yep, Budda.

  10. Where did the perv go? I wanted to ask him for his address. I told my brothers and their friends that the perv wanted to know my name and was threatening me. Some of them are in law enforcement. I also wanted to ask him if it’s true that he made the videos of his wife himself.

  11. anita, looks like the perv went away. noticed where justa above thought jaime was posting as david. justa set the trap and the rat took the bait hook line and sinker with his deflection comment about not using your real name. Accuse everyone else of something when you just did it yourself. im roflmao at all this.

  12. She could have also filed the complaint under:
    Sec. 39.06. MISUSE OF OFFICIAL INFORMATION. (a) A public servant commits an offense if, in reliance on information to which the public servant has access by virtue of the person’s office or employment and that has not been made public, the person:
    (1) acquires or aids another to acquire a pecuniary interest in any property, transaction, or enterprise that may be affected by the information;
    (2) speculates or aids another to speculate on the basis of the information; or
    (3) as a public servant, including as a school administrator, coerces another into suppressing or failing to report that information to a law enforcement agency.
    (b) A public servant commits an offense if with intent to obtain a benefit or with intent to harm or defraud another, he discloses or uses information for a nongovernmental purpose that:
    (1) he has access to by means of his office or employment; and
    (2) has not been made public.
    (c) A person commits an offense if, with intent to obtain a benefit or with intent to harm or defraud another, he solicits or receives from a public servant information that:
    (1) the public servant has access to by means of his office or employment; and
    (2) has not been made public.
    (d) In this section, “information that has not been made public” means any information to which the public does not generally have access, and that is prohibited from disclosure under Chapter 552, Government Code.
    (e) Except as provided by Subsection (f), an offense under this section is a felony of the third degree.
    (f) An offense under Subsection (a)(3) is a Class C misdemeanor.

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