El Paso-centric info and commentary from the Center of North America

NPT Capitol: The county has concerns about its own ethics bill?

The following was sent to NPT by the office of state Rep. Norma Chavez, who wanted to clarify the record as to whether and what concerns she had expressed to the county about its ethics bill, sponsored by state Rep. Marisa Marquez and now working through the system in the legislature. As background, Chavez told us we had incorrectly reported that she had told the county she had concerns about the age restriction. The assertion was made during discussion by County Judge Anthony Cobos, but in the initial version of the story was not attributed to him. We added the attribution to the story. These communications followed. As you can see from the note (below, with emphasis added) from the county judge’s chief of staff, the county has concerns about its own bill. The question is, who or what is this county referred to as having concerns?


Please see the e-mail below that our office received from Jaime O. Perez in response to our letter to Judge Cobos. I have attached our letter to Judge Cobos so that you will have the full context of Mr. Perez’s reply. Thank you.

John G. Kearney
General Counsel for State Representative Norma Chavez



From: Jaime O. Perez
Sent: Wednesday, April 22, 2009 4:29 PM
Subject: RE: Question regarding Newspaper Tree Statement attributed to Judge Anthony Cobos

Dear Ms. Mata:

County Judge Cobos left town today and is, therefore, unavailable to answer directly. However, I have communicated with him by telephone.

As to your question: Judge Cobos has not received any formal communication from Rep. Chavez relative to the age eligibility issue in the Ethics bill. The Judge was advised by a third party that Ms. Chavez had this concern. In a communication to others, our office has made clear we have not had any formal communication with Rep. Chavez reference this issue. In the context of referencing the excellent responsiveness of Rep. Chavez to the County’s concerns, Judge Cobos misattributed the concern relative to age eligibility.

We apologize for this misunderstanding. The Judge meant to say a third party referenced the age eligibility not that Rep. Chavez expressed it. Should you need further response from our office, please advise.

Our apologies.

Very Truly Yours

jaime o. perez
Chief of Staff


Sent: Wednesday, April 22, 2009 2:54 PM
To: County Judge
Subject: Question regarding Newspaper Tree Statement attributed to Judge Anthony Cobos

Please see the attached letter from State Representative Norma Chávez’s General Counsel.

Office of State Representative Norma Chávez
Capitol Office Ground North GN.8
Office 512.463.0622
Fax 512.478.6755

April 22, 2009

The Honorable Anthony Cobos
El Paso County Judge
500 E. San Antonio, Suite 301
El Paso, TX 79901

RE: Newspaper Tree Statement attributed to Judge Anthony Cobos

Dear Judge Cobos:

I am Representative Chavez’s General Counsel. I write to you regarding an attribution contained in a Newspaper Tree blog that states: “Commissioners didn’t agree on one objection, the only known objection from state Rep. Norma Chavez, who Cobos said requested the 23-year-old minimum age requirement be dropped to 18. [Editor’s note: The preceding paragraph was amended at 12:15 p.m., April 22.]”

This blog entry was written by David Crowder, posted April 20, 2009, and revised today.

I write to you to inquire whether Newspaper Tree has correctly attributed this statement to you, or if they are mistaken. As far as the Representative and I are aware, she has never made such an objection nor spoken to you about this matter. If I am incorrect, I would appreciate your so advising me. If the statement is either misattributed to you, or if you were mistaken in making it, I would appreciate your advising Newspaper Tree and our office so that we may set the record straight.
Thank you for your attention to this matter. The courtesy of a reply will be appreciated.


John G. Kearney
General Counsel
Office of State Representative Norma Chávez


Sito Negron

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

April 22, 2009 at 5:48 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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