The El Paso Times has the story HERE. If you can't read that, or don't want to, I'll summarize it.
The city is going to repaint the broken car in the driveway in the hopes you'll think it now runs. They're making some changes to the ethics form so that... well... I'm not sure what that will change. However, I did find interesting that all of a sudden the city attorney and ethics commission chair are letter of the law type of people when it comes to folks they like/don't like.
You see, when Rep. Jim Tolbert (before he was elected) filed his ethics complaint against the city manager and then Rep. Larry Romero it wasn't actionable... at least for the city manager. It stated clearly at the top of the form that you couldn't bring an ethics complaint against a city employee. The channels for dealing with city employees doing things wrong is different - they are covered under the guidelines of Texas employment law. But, because the city attorney and the head of the ethics circus didn't like the city manager, they completely ignored this fact and went forward with their illegitimate ethics complaint against the city manager.
With this complaint things are different because the accused are, in at least the city attorney's case, on the right team. The guys filing the ethics complaint didn't do a good job citing what ordinances, laws, unwritten courtesies etc. et. al. were violated. The city attorney all of a sudden has an eye for detail and kicks this one out and I don't blame her. I stated before - you don't pursue an investigation into your boss (mayor and council, but mostly the mayor) unless you want to lose your job. This is a basic survival skill.
Why did she wait so long? I imagine there was the thought that this will all blow over and she could quietly dismiss it. However, she miscalculated the demeanor of the filers (read: how dedicated to being nutty they are) and it did not die. The strategy of waiting out the storm made them look like they were either inept or deliberately ignoring the complaint.
The head of the ethics circular firing squad is showing some interest in this, but it's a tricky deal. When it came to Romero and the city manager, he had an axe to grind and ignored the obvious problems with Tolbert's complaint. Take this case with that case, put them side by side and you'll see where the eye of detail changes as the targets change.
The solution is to make the ethics complaint form "more user friendly." The result is going to be anything but that. Remember, the people who are most likely to be troubled by the filing of this form are the ultimate deciders on how this form looks and feels. You're asking the children to police themselves. It's not a good idea. Government will never let you easily file a grievance against the government. Changes to the form will show you that nothing has really changed. Especially when you have politically motivated deciders looking at complaints.
Until you have an independent group review these complaints, you'll never have the blood justice you seek. Until then we are putting pictures of the holes in the wall.