I am sure all of you are now aware that Bob Moore published an editorial in the local newspaper demanding that Tommy Gonzalez be fired forthwith. Moore was not asking – he was demanding that the city manager be fired.
Never mind that Tommy Gonzalez has not had his day before the city’s Ethics Commission before the editorial was published. Never mind that Tommy Gonzalez has not had the opportunity to address any concerns with those who manage him – the city council. Never mind the notion of innocent until proven guilty. And, never mind the notion of fairly being treated before any adverse action is demanded.
If that is not enough for you, consider that the City released a copy of the Ross Fisher report late last night. Although the report raised questions about Tommy Gonzalez’ regulatory financial report filings, it did not find ethical violations committed by Tommy Gonzalez in the scope of what was investigated. That’s right, the investigator did not find any violations!
In Bob Moore’s world none of this matters because it does not fit the public agenda Moore supports.
This really should not surprise me especially when we look at the hypocrisy of it all. It makes sense that Bob Moore sees nothing wrong with his demand.
In the worst case and with the evidence that we currently have, Tommy Gonzalez can be accused of not doing his job. Bob Moore accuses Tommy Gonzalez of scapegoating or blaming city staff for the controversies over the streets, the speed humps and the RFQ for the financial services. Even if Tommy Gonzalez is guilty of failing at his administrative duties, which has yet to be proven, but for arguments sake, firing him would be the last recourse. As an employee of the city, there are inherent costs to firing Tommy Gonzalez for administrative failures. Among them are recruiting a new city manager and possibly paying off part of his contract, not to mention the possibility of litigation.
To be clear, there is no evidence that shows that Tommy Gonzalez acted corruptly. None whatsoever.
None of that matters to Bob Moore. Moore takes the position that Tommy Gonzalez has failed the city so miserably that he must be fired.
Except when looking at who has failed the city we can’t ignore the $20 million that the taxpayers are footing for the delay of the ballpark bonds. Former city manager Joyce Wilson has admitted ordering the delay of the bonds for political reasons. Whether one, two or more city representatives asked her to delay them is immaterial because the official city council never took a vote to delay the sale of the bonds.
As a matter of fact, the Ross Fisher report found serious problems with Wilson’s actions. Joyce Wilson refused to provide the names of the city officials that asked her to delay the bond sale. She hid behind an attorney. The Fisher report suggests that the City compel Wilson to release the names of the officials who told her to delay the sale of the bonds.
There are other suggestions made by the report which I’ll address in depth in an upcoming article. For now, accept that the investigation found evidence to suggest that Wilson and others acted unethically in the bond sale.
By any measure that is malfeasance by Joyce Wilson.
Yet, Bob Moore has yet to address the $20 million question, much less demand the resignation of Joyce Wilson from a taxpayer-supported job. Why?
Hmmm, could it be because Joyce Wilson bought the newspaper’s building when she was the city manager. This fact leaves me wondering how long it will be before Bob Moore finishes paying off his debt to Joyce Wilson. I just can’t believe someone can be so corrupt and therefore it has to be that Bob Moore feels indebted to Joyce Wilson. Or, maybe Bob Moore is just that unethical.
Some will argue, possibly even Bob Moore, that the editorial board of the local newspaper is comprised of other individuals besides Bob Moore. Make no mistake, although that is what he wants you to believe, ultimately it is Bob Moore that drives the dialog that eventually gets published as an editorial.
Truly a sad state of affairs in El Paso. And, likely the reason why corruption in El Paso will never be abated.