Ethics Commission dismisses complaints against city officials

LAREDO, TX (KGNS) - The Ethics Commission met Wednesday night and dismissed two complaints against the interim co-city managers.

Vish Viswanath and Victor Gomez, members of Our Laredo

Now, it looks as though the tables have turned on the complainants themselves.

Vish Viswanath and Victor Gomez, members of Our Laredo each filed complaints against interim co-city managers Robert Eads and Rosario Cabello.

Viswanath's complaint deals with the recent approval of the water rate increases.

He says the breakdown of cost shows that 135 million is going towards the maintenance of the utilities system, but the other 45 million is for the future development, something that isn't allowed in the city charter.

Vish says, the city capital improvement program, section 6-5 c clearly says the taxpayer should not be footing the bill for the 45 million dollar development so what they are doing is wrong.

Gomez's allegations are about a conflict of interest between District Six Councilman Dr. Marte Martinez and a company that works with the city.

Gomez says councilman Martinez lied on his City Council application about his indirect interest with said company.

He says the city managers have a duty to reprimand him or dismiss him for lying on his application.

Interim co-city manager Robert Eads says Gomez and Viswanath have a misunderstanding of their authority.

Eads says the city can’t wait for these cases to come and go so that people can see what’s been clogging up the system with these claims against the office.

Eads goes on to say that officials should be tending to the needs of our city and that these claims are just misunderstandings that they have explained numerous times.

With the stage set for what many believed would be a lengthy conversation about these allegations turned into a quick dismissal of both cases.

Outside council attorney Ryan Henry says the Ethics Commission only has the authority to hear matters involving the ethics code directly.

Despite the Ethics Commission being unable to hear or take action on the complaints, commissioners did decide to move forward with investigating whether or not the allegations are frivolous and if they are determined to be unjust.

Commissioners say the complainants will be required to reimburse the co-city managers for attorney’s fees.