Socorro mayor resigns amidst allegations of bad conduct
Socorro,TX — A big shake-up continues to unravel in Socorro. Mayor Trini Lopez resigned unexpectedly Sunday, just days before a special council meeting. That meeting was planned for this Wednesday; the council had planned to to take a closer look into the mayor's conduct. Lopez allegedly purchased something at a city surplus sale, which is not allowed under city policy.
"You know he can say whatever he wants as far as his departure goes, you know, what his reasons were, but as far as we're concerned, i truly believe that it was the investigation that he's undergoing right now that prompted him to you know submit his abrupt resignation," said Mary B. Garcia, City of Socorro Mayor Pro Tem.
Garcia speaks out about Trini Lopez's resignation. He sent her emails on Sunday night, informing her of his decision. City spokesperson Dave Garcia says Lopez's decision is timely.
"You have to wonder if it was brought on by the investigation announced Thursday in to his buying practices at the city. So again, yes you'd be weary of it. I'd be weary of it, if you knew what only a few know," said Garcia.
Mayor Pro Tem Garcia agrees.
"This was an abrupt departure, wasn't too surprising. We did have a special meeting called for on Wednesday.
That special meeting is canceled now that a formal acceptance of Trini Lopez's resignation will also be on the agenda. That information needs to be publicized at least 72 hours before a resignation can be accepted at a meeting. Also on the agenda, could be a call for an election.
"At that point, we either have the money to have it for a special election or wait for the next general election," said Dave Garcia.
That next general election would be November of 2013. Last December, Socorro leaders changed the election date from this year to next, to save money. The cost of a special election would come out of the city's pocket.
News Channel Nine told a Socorro resident, Cecilia Chavez,the news of the mayor's decision.
"Surprised. Very surprised. Never thought he was gonna resign, for something that we elected him for, to continue to run Socorro. You wanna see that the tax money is used for something more reasonable," said Chavez.
She says Socorro's reputation is going down the drain, not a good example for her kids.
"I want them to grow in a town that there's loyalty, and not competition," said Chavez.
Mayor Pro Tem Mary Garcia is staying positive.
"We'll move on. The city will move on. We'll continue our projects. Things we have in order. So we will move forward," said Garcia.
We did reach out to Trini Lopez for comment multiple times, but have not heard back. The next Socorro city council meeting is schedule for Thursday October 18th.