Agreement reached in legal battle related to Laredo’s 2021 boil water notice

Published: Sep. 22, 2023 at 1:23 PM CDT
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LAREDO, TX . (KGNS) - It’s been over two years since a citywide boil water notice was issued in Laredo.

Now the legal battle between the city and one of the men who was blamed for it is nearing its end.

During a recent city council meeting, Councilmember Alberto Torres motioned that the city attorney proceed accordingly and authorize the city manager and the mayor to sign all and any relevant documents needed.

In 2021, Laredo and over 200,000 of its residents were under a boil water notice for over week.

Tony Moreno, who was the Water Treatment Superintendent for the City of Laredo was the one who was blamed for it.

“He oversaw the process for chlorination of the water before it goes out to the distribution before it’s consumed for the consumers of the city,” said Moreno’s attorney Carlos Flores. “A different department that he does not oversees, is in charge of the pipes beneath the City of Laredo. It’s known as the distribution department. It was our position that the 2021 boil water notice was not the water leaving the plant but the pipes in the distribution system. That is what the case alleged.”

Moreno was terminated from his position, so he hired Flores as his attorney and after two years, from a Webb County District Court to the Fourth Court of Appeals, the judge ruled in favor of Moreno in his wrongful termination lawsuit.

Moreno was also barred from returning to work, regardless of a court temporary injunction; however, on Monday, Sept. 19, during an executive session, the city agreed on a settlement.

“Mr. Moreno accepted it, all that was pending was Mr. Moreno to approve the offer and it’s my understanding that city council approved that offer on Monday. Now we are waiting for the final paperwork to be able to conclude the case and close it out,” said Flores.

Flores said that his client is looking forward to the future and having his reputation restored.

“He’s leaving on good terms with the City of Laredo. So, I think what he’s looking to do is to continue to serve in communities and to do the great work he did with the City of Laredo, somewhere else maybe or with another employer sometime in the future,” said Flores.

The details on the settlement agreement between the city and Moreno have not been disclosed at this time.

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