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County Clerk Sanchez files ethics complaint against Commissioner Escobar

From the Web site of Theresa Caballero:

El Paso, Texas District Clerk Gilbert Sanchez filed an ethics complaint against El Paso County Commissioner Veronica Escobar today, September 1, 2009. Ironically, the new Ethics Code that Commissioner Escobar has been pushing was passed just minutes ago. Clerk Sanchez’ complaint is as follows:

EL PASO COUNTY BOARD OF ETHICS
COMPLAINT FORM

Complete the following form and return the original to: Lupe Martinez, El Paso County Board of Ethics
Address: El Paso County Human Resources Department, 800 E. Overland St., Room #223
El Paso, Texas 79901, (915) 546-2218, ext. 3203

PLEASE TYPE OR PRINT

NAME: Gilbert Sanchez, District Clerk_________________________________

ADDRESS: 500 E. San Antonio, Ste. 103 ___________________

PHONE NUMBER: 546-2030 ________________________________

DEPARTMENT: (County employees only) District Clerk Office______________

1. Person against whom complaint is filed: Commissioner Veronica Escobar _____
2. Please indicate the possible Code of Ethics rule violation by stating the relevant paragraphs in the code. (The code is available online at http://www.epcounty.com/ethics/code.htm or may be obtained from Human Resources at (915) 546-2218, ext. 3203.):

§IV(A)(1); §IV(A)(2); §IV(B)(a); §IV(B)(b); §IV(C); §VIII(A); §VIII(B); IX(A) and XII

3. What are the details of your Complaint? (Please be specific with respect to names, dates and locations. Attach any additional pages if necessary.)

In the order to defend herself Commissioner Veronica Escobar was required to hire/request the assistance of a local attorney by the name of John Wenke who is bar certified in employment law and has a history of litigating against the County of El Paso and the City of El Paso. Many of these representations have yielded Mr. Wenke great wealth in the numerous victories against insurance companies and governmental agencies. The issue in question with the representation of Commissioner Escobar are the issues that at no time were the cost of his representation to her nor how Mr. Wenke was going to be repaid for his representation of Commissioner Escobar who may or may not be a personal friend of the commissioner or of her husband an US Attorney, which raises a question of possible conflict because the work being provided was done for free or as a gift. This action would have required her to file an affidavit stating any possible conflicts either by her as a decision maker and a voting authority or to the fact that Mr. Wenke may now or within sometime in the near future have legal matters in front of the Commissioner which she will have to make a settlement decision. Thus, it was not reported as required which raises questions as to the possible tic for tat method of payment for his legal services to the Commissioner which may place her in a difficult situation when it comes to legal matters that Commissioner Escobar may have to vote on any possible settlement offers. Not to mention issues about gifts and/or contributions to her campaign, be it as a in-kind or direct financial contribution which was not reported per Texas law and or placed on Commissioners Court disclosing it’s acceptance.

4. Possible Witnesses to Violation: County of El Paso Ethics Commissioners, Comm. Dan Haggerty, County of El Paso via web-cast; County Commissioners of El Paso; Lee Shapleigh; ACA Holly Lytle; other members of the County Attorney’s Office, Theresa Caballero, Stuart Leeds and County Judge Anthony Cobos

(Incomplete complaint forms will not be accepted.)

SIGNATURE: ________________________ DATE: August 30, 2009

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Written by newspapertreeelpaso

September 1, 2009 at 11:55 am

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. TEXAS ETHICS COMMISSION

    CONTRIBUTIONS OF PERSONAL SERVICES

    A political contribution consisting of an individual’s personal services is not required to be reported if the individual receives no compensation from any source for the services.

    http://www.ethics.state.tx.us/guides/COH_local_guide.htm#INFO_CONTR_SERVICE

    Carl Starr

    September 1, 2009 at 10:18 pm


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