Crystal City mayor, city clerk butt heads Friday
CRYSTAL CITY, Texas – The embattled Crystal City mayor had a showdown with the city clerk and then police at City Hall on Friday.
KSAT 12 has the exclusive video to the full exchange.
Mayor Ricardo Lopez was at City Hall to sign a copy of the agenda for the next council meeting, and also confronted City Clerk Selina Ramos over what she'd told him regarding the need to resign.
Lopez was one of three Crystal City City Council members named in a recall petition, which Ramos certified Thursday. Lopez claims Ramos told him that meant he needed to resign immediately. The mayor said that is incorrect, and that the city charter requires the petition be presented at a City Council meeting before the five-day window for him to resign begins.
Lopez and Ramos butted heads after the mayor brought members of the media into City Hall to see Ramos, who had refused repeatedly to speak to the media on Friday. Ramos fled to a restricted area of the building, and Lopez returned to the lobby to await the agenda.
Instead, the chief of police and two officers came out and attempted to hand Lopez an envelope, which he refused. They told him Ramos felt threatened and he was not to contact her or else he would be "filed for harassment."
If Ramos needed him, they said, she would reach out.
The mayor left City Hall with the agenda unsigned.
“I’m really thinking at this point, I’m thinking that someone’s trying to prevent the next council meeting. (It's) as easy as that," Lopez said. "That’s all they’re trying to do. They’re not trying to have a council meeting, and they’re trying to get rid of the current council.”
An effort to suspend James Jonas, the city manager and city attorney, was supposed to be on the agenda, Lopez said. Jonas' contract was listed by petitioners as a reason to recall Lopez and the other two council members.
Lopez said the agenda had to be signed by him to be official. Additionally, a quorum of council members would need to show up in order to hold the meeting.
Lopez and the lone council member not under indictment, Joel Barajas, told KSAT 12 that Councilman Roel Mata had resigned. The Defenders attempted to confirm the resignation with Mata himself during a visit to his home, but no one came to the door.
The city clerk refused to talk to KSAT 12 to confirm the information either.
Before the showdown with police, Lopez said he planned to resign, but only after the City Council meeting.
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