EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – An ethics complaint was filed on Tuesday against El Paso Mayor Dee Margo. The complaint came from an El Paso native who now lives in Dallas, however, the Mayor said he’s done nothing wrong.
“The citizens of El Paso deserve to know whether their Mayor is a crook,” Stuart Blaugrund, an employment attorney in Dallas told KTSM.
Blaugrund said he’s been following developments in El Paso and his family has been involved in the city’s civil and commercial affairs for over 100 years. He shared he filed the complaint because he’s become increasingly alarmed and concerned over the Mayor’s conduct when it comes to development in El Paso.
“From stonewalling the disclosure of public records concerning the city’s purchase of properties in the arena footprint to unilaterally ousting the former city attorney and his conducting public business on private email, and now this revelation he continues to own a financial interest in a for-profit company that was formed to specifically acquire properties downtown.”
The El Paso Times reports Margo did not disclose how many shares he has in the Borderplex realty trust, which owns buildings in downtown. The Times cited personal financial statements.
Mayor Margo sent KTSM a response, “My investment in Borderplex REIT was disclosed on my financial statements filed with the Texas Ethics Commission. I have not taken any action to promote or support a property within the trust. In September the Borderplex REIT will be dissolved and I will no longer hold an investment in those properties. For over 40 years I have supported this community, and I will continue to do so as Mayor of El Paso.”
“Margo failed to comply with El Paso’s Municipal Code by concealing his investment in Borderplex REIT in his filings with the City Clerk after he became mayor. Margo created this self-inflicted problem. He must promptly rid himself of his impermissible financial stake in Downtown redevelopment or resign immediately!” Blaugrund responded.
Since the ethics complaint involves an elected official, the city acquired an outside law firm out of legal procedure.
The process can take up to 20 days for the outside law firm to review the case and decide whether or not to forward it to the city’s Ethics Review Commission for further investigation and hearing.