County Judge's Chief of Staff Resigns

POSTED: Wednesday, December 10, 2008 - 11:04pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - 2:22pm

EL PASO---- Just hours after County Judge Anthony Cobos told local reporters he was not resigning, Cobos' own chief of staff announced in a statement Wednesday evening he is leaving.

Jaime O. Perez talked to NewsChannel 9 Thursday about why he's resigning.

"I accepted the position under the understanding that I would help them stabilize some of the day-to-day work at the County, and I've accomplished that," he said.

Cobos put to rest rumors of his own possible resignation Wednesday afternoon.

He blamed County Commissioner Veronica Escobar for starting the rumors after she asked for a legal opinion from Jose Rodriguez about the procedures for a county judge to resign.

But county commissioners told NewsChannel 9 Perez was the one who told them Cobos had plans to leave.

"I shared with no one, any e-mail or correspondence or verbal communication of any intention by the judge at all," said Perez, denying the allegation.

We asked Perez directly if Cobos asked him to step down as a result of the allegation.

"Absolutely not. In fact, he was very reluctant to accept my resignation," he said.

In a phone interview, Judge Cobos confirmed just that.

Perez confronted him about resigning weeks ago, and there's already been interest in Perez' position, Cobos said.

"I have had some phone calls. I think there's a couple of great applicants out there, but i certainly have not interviewed with anyone, and I have not committed to anyone," Cobos said.

According to the County Auditor's office, Perez earned a salary of $97,224 this year.

Perez says he may possibly run for the District 7 City Council representative seat in May, currently held by Steve Ortega.

"I will be studying whether it's a viable option for me to do something else in my political career," Perez said.

If Perez decides to run, he plans to make a formal announcement in February.

He also plans to stay on as Cobos' chief of staff as long as the judge needs him, or until he finds a replacement.

Cobos told NewsChannel 9 he will start looking at applications starting in January.

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