City manager candidate addresses controversy surrounding his past
El Paso, Texas (KTSM) — We're learning more about the controversy surrounding a finalist to become El Paso's next city manager.
Tommy Gonzalez is the former city manager of Irving, Texas, and in 2012 was targeted in a breach of contract lawsuit filed by a development group against the city.
The group, Las Colinas, had a contract with the city to develop a $250 million entertainment center, but the center was never built because the deal fell through.
According to the lawsuit, Gonzalez sabotaged the deal because Las Colinas refused to donate money to the private school his children attended.
Gonzalez insists that wasn't the case. He says he fought the project, because he thought he could save the city money,and ultimately another company did build the entertainment center for tens of millions of dollars less.
The lawsuit was ultimately dropped.
"I now that I have to answer those questions, but I'm glad I have to do that," Gonzalez told us. "I'd rather be answering those questions right now at this time in this situation than to say why did you let the city go broke?"
Irving did see considerable job growth during Gonzalez's tenure as city manager, and the city did provide us with a letter of recommendation for Gonzalez. As far as why he wants to come to El Paso?He says he has done all he can in Irving and is ready for a new challenge.
Gonzalez is one of four finalists being considered for the job in El Paso. You'll get to meet all of them May 7th.