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Interim Edinburg council majority pays city manager a $250k severance,  Court Clerk Maribel Velasquez, Municipal Court Clerk Celine Pardo,  Ludivina Leal,  Armando Guerra, Agustin Hernandez,

Interim Edinburg council majority pays city manager a $250k severance

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 – and by extension, the council majority, 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 (Nov. 12), essentially paying City Manager Juan Guerra to leave his post with approximately two years still left on his contract. In addition, the city secretary, Ludivina Leal, was fired, and two associate municipal judges were dismissed – Armando Guerra and Agustin Hernandez. In addition, the Edinburg EDC board was revamped. Edinburg Mayor Richard Molina no longer sits on the board, replaced by Gilbert Enriquez. Three other board members were replaced. New board members include Dan Diaz, Xavier Salinas, and Roland Gomez. Also on the chopping block was Municipal Court Clerk Celine Pardo. She was replaced by former Court Clerk Maribel Velasquez, who had held that post for approximately 16 years before being replaced with Pardo in early 2018, several months after the November 2017 election brought a new city council majority to power. Velasquez has a lawsuit against the city on file for wrongful termination, claiming she was fired as a form of political retaliation. Now, she’ll go back to work for Municipal Court Judge “Terry” Palacios who has held that position for 25-plus years. With only three-and-a-half weeks left before he steps down from his Place 3 seat, Homer Jasso, Jr. was named mayor pro tem. In Guerra’s place, former Edinburg City Manager Richard Hinojosa will serve as interim CM. 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? Prior to this year, Enriquez and Molina were solidly anti-Palacios when it came to Edinburg city politics. Now, Enriquez has landed in the Palacios camp, causing the split between him and Molina. Why and how that happened was laid out in a frontpage story published in this newspaper Nov. 6, 2019. The Molina faction is supporting Deanna Dominguez in the run-off, but may have its own problems with voter perception, since the mayor, his wife, and approximately 18 others are under indictment for alleged voter-fraud conspiracy. Molina and company are being prosecuted by ...

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