KTSM has learned a pair of ethics complaints filed against El Paso Mayor Dee Margo and former City Attorney Sylvia Borunda Firth has been dismissed by a city-hired outside law firm.
Outspoken government watchdog Jud Burgess filed the complaints back in May following Borunda Firth’s sudden departure and controversial six-figure payout. The separation was orchestrated by the mayor without the input of the El Paso City Council.
The city hired Austin-based Bojorquez Law Firm to review the complaints. The firm—acting on behalf of the city attorney’s office—dismissed them less than two weeks after receiving them, saying the “acts or omissions” alleged by Burgess did not constitute violations of the city’s ethics code.
Burgess said no one informed him of the dismissals until he made phone calls and recently heard back from Bojorquez. Burgess said the firm told him there had been a “clerical error” in its response to him.
“I just don’t believe it’s a clerical error,” Burgess said. “I just don’t see how a professional law firm can just allow something like this to just fall through the cracks.”
The city on Thursday provided KTSM with copies of the dismissal letters addressed to Burgess. The correspondence is dated May 24, 10 days after he filed the complaints.
Burgess, who has run for city council in the past, has a somewhat contentious relationship with the mayor, regularly criticizing Margo at city council meetings. On Tuesday, Burgess was escorted from the podium following a dispute over a self-produced video he showed during public comment.