Mayor Cook Continues to Fight the Recall Election
POSTED: Wednesday, October 26, 2011 - 9:43am
UPDATED: Friday, October 28, 2011 - 5:38am
EL PASO - Mayor John Cook's effort to stop the recall election will go on for some time.
It started Monday, but Pastor Tom Brown the man spearheading the recall won't take the stand until mid November as the treasurer of the Traditional Family Values group took the stand today the big question from The plaintiff was if the money collected for the recall was done within the guidelines of the Texas Ethics Commission.
"The testimony we got today would indicate that in actuality they spent more than $3,000 in the recall effort using money that was given to the PAC which was for the other election back in November," Cook said.
Mayor Cook's attorneys say using political action committee money the group collected for the traditional family values ordinance is illegal, but defense attorney Theresa Caballero has a different view.
"If he wants to file a complaint that's what he should do, but suing people who did nothing wrong, dragging them into court taking them away from their families, their duties and responsibilities, for no reason whatsoever, that is wrong," Caballero said.
Mayor Cook and representatives Susie Byrd and Steve Ortega are being recalled by pastor brown and this group for overturning an ordinance passed by the voters to take away health benefits from domestic partners employed by the city.
Mayor Cook is trying to stop the recall election altogether.
"That there wouldn't have been a higher damage to the public by halting the election and that's the big burden of proof that we're going to have to have," Cook said.
But the defense attorney Stuart Leeds says without the recall, the mayor is taking away the public's first amendment rights.
"We actually have already proved in this courtroom that granting the injunction will harm the public and will continue to carry on the harm to the public that John Cook has done in this case from day one," Leeds said.
The hearing is set to start again on November 14th.
The court expects one more day of testimony.
The only witness scheduled to be called is Pastor Tom Brown.