romero-ethicsAs you know by now, Larry Romero apparently resigned last Friday. The El Paso Times reported the resignation via Oscar Leeser’s office. According to the newspaper, the resignation is effective last Sunday, February 7, 2016. KFOX and KTSM quoted unnamed sources at the city as the source of the resignation. KVIA was unable to confirm the resignation and instead quoted the newspaper. However, KVIA followed up with a report stating that Romero had not turned in his resignation letter.

You may have noticed that I used the term “apparently” when writing that Romero had resigned. Yesterday morning, I submitted an open records request asking for “a copy of the resignation letter submitted by Larry Romero on or before February 8, 2016.” At approximately 3:00pm, El Paso Time yesterday, I received response from Jaqueline Leyva, a legal secretary at the City Attorney’s office, informing me that the city “has no responsive documents.”

It is likely that the reports of Romero’s resignation are true but the fact remains that it is not official since a resignation letter is not in the city’s possession. Regardless, the community discussion about whether the ethics commission should continue the investigation into Larry Romero’s activities must proceed, regardless of the resignation.

Since Larry Romero’s ethics complaints were filed, a reported health issue in December, 2015, has resulted in Larry Romero being excused from city council meetings the last month. The stroke, as reported by the news media, is also the reason cited in the purported resignation.

Although I can speculate about the reasons for the resignation, the fact is that many others are also speculating and I cannot add anymore to that discussion. There is, however, some discussion that the ethics commission will drop the investigation into Romero, once the resignation becomes effective.

The El Paso Times quoted Scott Schwartz, one of the ethic’s commissioners, as stating that when the resignation becomes official, the investigation into Romero would be “moot.” The ethics investigation into Tommy Gonzalez remains open, however.

The truth is that I do not know whether the city’s ethics commission can continue the investigation into Larry Romero or not, but the fact is that it should, regardless of the resignation. The allegations of ethics violations are numerous and are directly tied into another ongoing investigation into the actions taken by the city manager, Tommy Gonzalez. Additionally, the allegations against Romero are based on actions allegedly committed while Romero was a city representative.

Romero’s resignation does not erase the actions he took while a city official. Whether the investigation reveals ethics violations or not are immaterial to the resignation because the facts need to be laid out for the community. It is important that the community understands the extent of the allegations.

To leave them unresolved leaves the door open for another opportunity to bypass city processes and possibly violate ethics rules in the future. The city’s ethics commission may no longer have the opportunity to apply sanctions against Larry Romero, if they are warranted, but to leave the allegations unanswered will just reinforce the notion that cover ups are how the city deals with allegations of corruption.

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...

21 replies on “Ethics Commission Must Continue Investigation Into Larry Romero”

  1. What were you expecting the Ethics Commission to do?

    Assuming everything went your way, Romero is forced out of office.

    Well, Romero saved everyone a headache and time and resigned.

    But again, that is not good enough for some.

    Do you want to see Romero in jail? If so, for how long? What punishment are you looking for?

    And also asking a government body to beyond its scope invites corruption. But hey, whatevs.



    1. The question is simple Maxie, were any laws broken, if so he must be brought before a judge, tried and if convicted sentenced unlike your buddy Jaime. After that Vince’s girl aka puppet must be investigated too. Jaime and company might want to down play what she did but they aren’t fooling anyone well maybe the Viva La Raza crowd that they manipulate so easily.

  2. Your Mayor already said “no”. But that’s not good enough for some of you. Just come out and say what kind of punishments you want for Romero and whoever else.

    1. So apparently what you are saying it’s alright for elected officials to act unethically so long as they resign before the investigation is complete?

  3. Maxie you are just like Jamie trying to distort the truth but I might admit not as ugly as S.O.B. and I assume you take care of your financial responsibilities. Truth is this so called progressive movement they labeled themselves is nothing more then a scheme to rob the city and surrounding cities as well as the County blind.

  4. I believe my first response to you explains it. Every individual is entitled to a trial meaning that he has the oppurtunity to assemble his version of a legal DREAM TEAM like OJ or he could just call Jaime.

  5. Ali Razavi, you are missing the point. The investigation needs to be completed in order for everyone to have access to the facts. Corruption does not happen in a vacuum. And, please don’t tell me that a criminal complaint should be filed for the facts to be revealed because you know as well as everyone else that criminal investigations in El Paso seldom go anywhere because Jaime Esparza does not prosecute most politicians. The investigation will reveal some of the facts. Ending the investigation is just a cover up. -martin

    1. Martin,

      Who would be involved in the cover-up? Everything is already out there. What’s left to “cover-up”?



  6. There have been allegations made, wouldn’t Romero want to clear his name? The investigation should continue because the public needs to know exactly what happen. If nothing else the public is paying attention and asking questions. Step by step until even perceptions of wrong doing are challenged.

    The message must direct and firm, elections are not for self promotion, self enrichment, cronyism, special deals,special justice, free tickets or seats or parking (when not on official business) or to be viewed as “royalty”. Didn’t a progressive pitch a fit about cell phones and driving, stating that police are not privileged and should obey the law. So why don’t laws apply to the politicians. Yes, I’m watching as you strut around your free box seat or have free parking, at the airport, while you go on vacation. Why is it ok to kick a city employee’s tail and nothing happens? Why is it ok to hire pervs and allow manipulation of government entities ? Why is it ok for public servants to defraud the federal government and nothing happens ,

    As for prosecuting, get elected and the DA will give you a “get out jail”.

    As the Chinese say ” a journey of a thousand miles, starts with one step “.

    1. I agree, I think Maxie whether he admits or not he is part of the many arsenals employed by these so-called progressives in office. Just look at how he along with Jaime write on their blogs., their political allies can do no wrong doing and when shit hits the fan they down play it. Truth is Jaime stays here in El Paso cause he has found a place where politicians will protect him from his legal issues. He runs shoulders with Wiles and yet isn’t arrested and sent to Arizona. If nothin else that’s good publicity for any would be Candidate for El Paso County Sheriff.

      1. Dude,

        There’s no business case to be made to pay a blogger covering El Paso.

        But if there is, please make it.



  7. the only thing that could possibly be made criminal is the 80 dollars he charged gonzalez to due his taxes. with the income gonzalez makes im thinking lauterbach wouldnt be less than a grand. i guess you could call that a bribe, but you would have a hard time proving it. romero is slime, but get over it. the aguilar saga proved that. my question is still this, why make a big deal over this and not the delay on the bond sale ? that needs to be looked into way more than this. firstsw should be fired over that or spill the beans.

  8. For sure there also needs to be an investigation of the city council bimbo and her text messages to the perv and Escobar during meetings.

  9. Ali, county employees and county commissioner manipulating city policy on county time. There’s no telling what else is or was being done.

    Are you a trying to minimize the conduct?

  10. The perv has the nerve to state Austin is the worst debachery this side of Washington. And has the nerve to post an ad attacking an official for being in a bar and a single woman kiss him ! The warning, never know when there’s a camera.

    While the official’s conduct is terrible. At least he’s not showing his children porn flicks of their mother. And what happen to his bs about being a family and nobody’s business.

    But, the county still allows him to lurk around the office and advising them ! Remember the perv was stabbing Niland in the back while working against city council, plus he was hired even though he has outstanding warrants.

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