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Commentary: Edinburg CM gets $250k

  EDINBURG -- With approximately three-and-a-half weeks left until the Edinburg run-off election decides who wins Homer Jasso Jr.’s Place 3 seat -- Deanna “Coach” Dominguez or Juan “Johnny” Garcia – the Gilbert Enriquez-led majority laid $250,000 plus six months health insurance premiums down on the table after a long executive session Tuesday night, essentially telling City Manager Juan Guerra to go away. Everyone’s happy. No lawsuits to follow. No juicy stuff about which to write.    Question is: will shelling out $250,000 of taxpayer money (plus insurance premiums for the entire Guerra family for six months) from the city’s general fund help or hinder the Place 3 contestant that Enriquez and the Palacios faction are supporting: “Johnny” Garcia?     The Molina faction is supporting Deanna Dominguez, but may have its own problems with voter perception, since the mayor is under indictment for alleged voter-fraud conspiracy. He is being prosecuted by the office of the DA, Ricardo Rodriguez, who is a Palacios family member (now on the same side as Enriquez), and whose aunt, former JP Mary Alice Palacios, was the person who originally filed the voter-fraud complaint with the secretary of state’s office, claiming that Molina was guilty of a crime.    From there, the complaint went to the attorney general’s office, headed by the indicted (felonies based on alleged securities fraud) Ken Paxton (you can’t make up this stuff), who then sent it down the pipe, asking if the Hidalgo County DA’S Office would help both investigate and prosecute the Molina case. Rodriguez said that if the target of his investigation were a relative, he would recuse his office; but an investigation and prosecution of the Edinburg mayor wasn’t a reason to recuse.     This, despite the fact that Molina was shouting “conflict of interest” because he said that Mary Alice, as she’s known locally, was bitter because the city hadn’t renewed a health-insurance contract with a company she was representing, which cost her north of $100k; according to Molina, she obviously had an axe to grind.      So how are the Edinburg voters (both the real and the fictitious) going to digest the $250,000 severance package the council majority (Enriquez, Jasso, and White) approved Wednesday night and paid out to now-former City Manager Juan Guerra, who still had approximately two years left on his contract?      Isn’t that the same as saying: “Here’s $250,000 of taxpayer money to go away.”      How ...

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