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

Archive for June 5th, 2009

NPT: Public corruption defendant Parra seeks donations for legal fees through Web site

Fernando Parra, who pleaded guilty to porn and corruption charges almost a year ago, has set up a Web site seeking aid for his legal fees.

Click here for the site, which states: This legal defense fund was created to assist with the legal fees and expenses in the case of the United States Goverment vs. Fernando Parra.

We are very grateful for all the tokens of love that you have extended Fernando and his family. Your words of encouragement have become tremendous pillars of support and are immensily appreciated.

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

June 5, 2009 at 6:14 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

NPT Capitol: Straus claims majority support; pledge list includes El Paso House delegation

All five El Paso House members are on the pledge list released by Speaker Joe Straus today. Here’s the brief news release:

Just days after the end of the 81st Texas Legislative Session, Texas House Speaker Joe Straus announced he has support from the vast majority of House Members for his re-election as Speaker for a second term. “As of this morning we have received 98 signed pledge cards from colleagues reaffirming their commitment to re-elect me as their Speaker. I am humbled and honored to have received this overwhelming support. This is a clear indication that members of both parties can set aside their differences to work together to find solutions to critical issues facing our state. I look forward to building on this foundation and working with all of the members during the legislative interim.”

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

June 5, 2009 at 5:37 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

NPT: El Paso FBI SAC’s statement on Jones, Sanchez indictment

Comment from the office of El Paso FBI Special Agent in Charge David Cuthbertson:

“The indictment unsealed today demonstrates the FBI’s commitment to the investigation of public corruption, which has plagued the El Paso community for far too long. The conduct alleged in the indictment provides an illustration of how a core group of influential individuals attempted to subvert governmental procurement processes for their own personal gain. Sabotage of legal procurement processes wastes scarce taxpayer dollars, and it frustrates the efforts of honest prospective vendors who attempt to secure government contracts legitimately.”

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

June 5, 2009 at 3:23 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

NPT County: County Attorney Rodríguez: Sanchez indictment does not remove him from office

News release from the office of El Paso County Attorney José Rodríguez:

El Paso County Attorney José R. Rodríguez informed today that the indictment unsealed against El Paso District Clerk Gilbert Sanchez does not automatically trigger his removal from office. Texas law states that only if Mr. Sanchez were to be convicted of felony charges or misdemeanor charges involving official misconduct, the conviction would operate as an immediate removal.

Rodríguez further explained that, while the charges are pending, Mr. Sanchez will remain the elected District Clerk and has full powers as such, unless Mr. Sanchez resigns or a removal action is filed.

If Mr. Sanchez resigns, Commissioners Court will be able to vote on the appointment a interim clerk to fill the vacancy.

Regarding possible removal petitions, County Attorney Rodríguez said that if a removal action is filed, an out-of-town judge would preside over the case and decide whether the removal has merits. The presiding judge would have the authority to issue a temporary suspension against the District Clerk and appoint another person to perform the duties of the office.

Rodríguez explained that, according to Texas law, appropriate grounds for removal of elected officials from public office include incompetency, official misconduct and intoxication on or off duty caused by drinking an alcoholic beverage.

“We are currently reviewing the indictment in this case to determine if sufficient grounds and evidence exist to pursue a removal action,” Rodríguez concluded.

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

June 5, 2009 at 3:20 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

NPT County: County Judge Cobos’ statement on Jones, Sanchez indictment

El Paso County Judge Anthony Cobos, who himself has been implicated in the wide-ranging public corruption probe, issued this statement on the indictment against lawyer Luther Jones and District Clerk Gilbert Sanchez:

“I have full confidence in the judicial system and will patiently wait for a determination of the truth or falsity of the allegations contained in the indictments. In the meantime, under our cherished American tradition and Constitutional system of justice, parties are innocent until proven guilty.” – Anthony Cobos, El Paso County Judge.

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

June 5, 2009 at 1:25 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

NPT DC: Border security grants: Rodriguez v. Reyes

U.S. Rep. Silvestre Reyes sent out a news release touting $1.4 million in Operation Stonegarden homeland security grants. Click here to view it.

Then came this from the office of U.S. Rep. Ciro D. Rodriguez, who reps a small part of East El Paso County.

Rodriguez Announces $6 million in Operation Stonegarden Grants for border counties and communities

Washington, DC – U.S. Congressman Ciro D. Rodriguez (TX-23) announced Thursday that communities in the 23rd Congressional District received $6 million in funding for border law enforcement efforts through Operation Stonegarden, administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Overall, Texas received $16.7 million in Operation Stonegarden grants, an increase of $3.7 million from FY 2008. The funds will be used for additional law enforcement personnel, overtime, travel and other costs incurred by border law enforcement agencies as they respond to heavier cross-border traffic and increased security risks.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

June 5, 2009 at 12:32 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

NPT Capitol: Rep. Chavez receives Texas Monthly ‘Dishonorable Mention’

The entire story can be found here.

This is what they wrote about Chavez:

Norma Chávez, Democrat, El Paso
For her petty session-long text-messaging feud with fellow El Pasoan Marisa Marquez over an ethics bill. (“U R on the Dishonorable Mention List!!!”)

State Rep. Chente Quintanilla was named “Furniture.”

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

June 5, 2009 at 9:09 am

Posted in Uncategorized