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June 26, 2014


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"They are going to turn a six figure annoyance into a seven figure pain...
CC requires approval of purchase orders over $50K so it is surprising that they do not approve severance agreements over $50K. Or do they?

The amount of this or similar exit packages should not be at the whim of the CM, unless they have prior authorization from CC to do so.

The whole matter just reinforces what so many of us have come to believe since Woody World - that the CM form of government here is out of control and needs to be reigned in. You suck up to the Witch and you go out in style, even when you have screwed up like Shang very publicly did.

Rotten -

Think about it for a second. If she did something wrong they could fire her easily. What if she was right and asked to go away because some important people were proven wrong?

Look at it that way.

In a nutshell if you can't kill off people that know the truth then you pay them off. That is what this situation is. Go back to the 4/22 City Council meeting item 14.3 and 14.4. A rep called CM and DCM liars, mayor corrects rep to say it was CM not DCM. Pay back by the CM - pure and simple. And now the taxpayers will fund the payback.

From what I can tell Martin got it from here.


Lets him off the hook, doesn't it ?

I am not sure I agree with DavidK, I do not see why police disciplinary records are open but all other city employees would not be....I read the info in debate and if discipline it seems only inferred by others not the letter...in fact the letter says 'by agreement' and I assume this may mean the person in question thus the matter is concluded.

"Texas appeals court holds that a police officer's disciplinary record is subject to the state's freedom of information laws. Abbott v. City of Corpus Christi, #03-02-00785-CV, 2003 Tex. App. Lexis 4600 (3rd Dist. Austin, 2003).

"A deputy sheriff called into a talk radio program and stated that the current sheriff was not a good fit for the job. In response, the sheriff called in and replied that the deputy was a "slacker," and made statements about the deputy's disciplinary record, saying it involved sexual harassment of another employee, when it actually involved violation of a rule against offensive conduct or language. The deputy sued the sheriff for unlawful retaliation against him for exercising his First Amendment rights in criticizing the sheriff. A federal appeals court rejected this claim, because "(w)e cannot afford one party his right to free speech while discounting the rights of the other party." The appeals court also rejected claims that the sheriff, in making the statements about the deputy's alleged disciplinary record, violated laws concerning privacy and open public records. As for privacy, the court found that there was no genuine public interest in keeping the record of the concluded disciplinary investigation closed to the public.

If she did something wrong they could fire her easily.
Wilson's choice and friend?

Like I said, if there is going to be a potentially questionable termination, Ex Comm is the place to do it so the CC knows enough and can decide to take it to the floor or not. They insist on approving POs over $50K, why not exit packages over $50K?

Shang screwed up big time at the time. Maybe future events will play out better but then why is she terminated?

Just a thot,

There's on minor detail you're missing between the El Dario and his. A "smoking gun" if you will.

I can't got back to Martin's site - he banned my IP. He knows he's in trouble and the guy who pays his bills is embarrassed again because his name will be in depositions.

And I never said that Martin was going to be sued and lose. I just said he'd be sued. There's a lot of room to add parties in this situation. At a minimum they're going to want to talk about what he knows and who told him. They'll trade that for letting him out of the suit. In the mean time, Martin will have to retain council - $5,000.


I don't think you understand what happened at council that day. Go watch again. You'll see that your alliances are all wrong here.

RP: do you have a copy of a resignation letter? Anywhere in the agreement does it state she was fired? Ever occur to you this is silly payback by the CM who doesn't like somebody and thought they would clean up the staff before the new CM gets in? (Or did council want all non-Hispanics gone from the CM's office?) If this employee's performance was so bad how did this employee end up as one of 8 finalists for the CM position? This does not make any sense - obviously was not performance related - more like personality conflict related. But then JW may not have know this person was a finalist until after the deal was made for her to "go away".

Either way this is a City caused disaster and watch them try to blame it all on the employee and back date documents to orchestrate a solution of bad performance. Now that is a multi-million dollar lawsuit there.

DK & Insider;

Shang got the city to spend about $5MM on getting "shovel ready," whatever that means in city-speak, for a trolley system, supposedly with agreement from TxDoT that they would cough up the rest. Except she didn't get a binding commitment from TxDot before spending the $5MM. So when TxDot backed out of the deal (I see they are now reconsidering), she was left to explain why she did not secure a binding commitment for funding the remainder before spending your money on the project.

So how many $5MM faux pas does a DCM get before getting the axe?

Then she made some stupid comment about only restoring one of the old trolleys instead of the lot of them as directed by the prior CC. This provoked some nasty public comment from Suzy MountainStar Byrd reminding Shang what CC direction was given to her about the trolleys.

Faux pas #2. She is becoming an embarrassment to the city and JW who hired her.

Fired with less than extreme prejudice, it looks like(don't split hairs, she's out). My only point here is that CC should have approval of these terminations over $50K, like they do with POs. The goddam CM has too much power to spend our money without accountability.

RP: read the Charter. All personnel decisions (except Legal staff) are under the CM. Council CANNOT take part. They do not have the authority to approve hiring or firing of city staff.

Regarding the trolley crap. Council was fully aware of the TxDOT monies available. Your favs on CC at the time VOTED to get the initial engineering study done in ANTICIPATION of receiving the funds in the future. No way in hell could Shang have done any of this without a vote of council. I saw the discussion. I think its stupid to rehab the old cars but that was CC's vote - to rehab the old crap. By the time the study was done by URS things had changed at TxDOT. The $4.5M is the city match that would have been required no matter what or when the timing of the project was. It is not Shang's fault that TxDOT used the funds for something else. Today TxDOT is thinking about giving it back to EP because they now have the funds again - TxDOT gets their money from the Feds too and this may have been tied up in the Feds funding of rail projects. If you want to bitch about funding and processes at least have a competent understanding of how the local, state and federal process works for Transportation funds.

Salaries are not, will not, ever, ever be something council has a say so when they exceed $50k for an individual employee. That's not even up for discussion during the budget process. Again - if you are going to be an ankle biter get your fricken facts straight and understand the Charter.

Even though your favorite CM of all time is gone you still can't get over the CM function. It is what it is. It was voted on by the public in 2004. You cannot f**k with the Charter provisions and take away power granted to the CM through the Charter. Push your buddies on council to have a Charter Amendment vote in 2015 and put the item on the agenda. Even if you win - hiring and firing of city staff is never going to be an open discussion item on CC agenda. Ever. There is such a thing as "employment law" and it trumps elected officials.


My point was not a $50K salary, it was the cost of the severance package being over $50K that I think CC should approve, just like POs.

I am devastated now because I was under the impression that FINALLY there was some accountability in city hall and you tell me she did not f**k up. So how did the CC vote on the $4.7MM without a binding commitment from TxDot? Whose responsibility was it to get that done before putting this in front of CC (that we both know is a few croutons short of a salad)?

I can understand why JW didn't like accountability, especially when her favorites kept screwing up to the tune of millions. Personally, I am hoping TG is the new Attila the Hun in city hall.

The money was always there for the trolleys. Think game playing on the part of the highway commission to effect other outcomes on other projects. Not caused by locals. Doesn't matter though because I understand it is official TxDOT funded the trolley project.. Go back and watch the video. Council was given 2 choices and they chose to move forward. That's not the fault of staff. This deal is just typical corporate payback by one executive that had the power to do it. Council encourages this type of management and it will continue under the new CM.

You know if you look at the meta data from the image on Martin's site and compare it to el Diario's site; the image on Martin's site that was created with the document/jane/trolley shows a time stamp of:

2014:06:25 15:00:02-04:00

that's 6/25/2014 at 3:00pm EDT (UTC - 4)

the Article on the Diario shows a posting time of:

Karla Guevara Walton
El Diario de El Paso | 21:46

That was on 6/25

That's posted on Diario at 9:46pm Mountain time (assuming time stamps weren't updated).

El Diario removed the metadata on the image so there isn't much info on it if pulled from the el diario site.

Since the image on Martin's site is a modified version of the image from el Diario (which has no metadata on it), all the metadata from the image on Martin's site is from the user who updated/altered the image (to add the trolly and jane)...at 3pm EDT, or 1pm Mountain time on 6/25... before the article was posted.

Sup, look at the date of the link above and here : http://diario.mx/El_Paso/2014-06-23_c44ef472/aunque-esta-suspendida-cobra-$7200-quincenales/

Look at the comments. 3 hace dias. It was online on the 23rd. No one probably looked till the 24th.

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