Converse city councilwoman removed from office

Kate Silvas is running for mayor against incumbent, another councilwoman

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CONVERSE, Texas – Voters in Converse say they'll be watching the Nov. 6 general election closely after City Councilwoman Kate Silvas was removed from office Thursday during a special meeting.  

Silvas is running for mayor against incumbent Mayor Al Suarez and Councilwoman Deborah James. 

Silvas did not attend the special meeting because she had a family commitment, but she said she asked that the allegations be brought up against in her open session instead of executive session. 

In the meeting, City Manager Le Ann Piatt presented council members with a stack of documents that were email requests by Silvas.

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Two council members said Silvas had contacted them, asking them not to attend the meeting in hopes of avoiding a quorum. 

After a two-hour meeting, four council members voted to forfeit Silvas' seat for a violation of the charter because she interfered with administration. Suarez abstained from voting and James was not at the meeting. 

On Wednesday, Silvas spoke exclusively with KSAT 12 News, saying that contacting council members to stop the meeting had been a mistake.  

"I was not being given an opportunity to look at the allegations and not an opportunity to attend. And yet, the meeting was being held without me," she said. "So was it ethical, I guess, from a black and white standpoint? I regret reaching out to these council members. Yes, I do regret that. I wish I'd had an opportunity to explain myself."

Regarding her numerous requests for information, Silvas said she was trying to get clarification on information that she needed to make decisions on the dais. 

"There were a number of instances in which I asked for information and it was not provided or it was withheld for an extensive period of time," she said. "And when I did ask for information that I thought I would need to do my job, I was berated." 

Silvas continues her campaign for mayor and the decision on how to proceed regarding her forfeited seat is on hold. She asked that the meeting regarding the allegations be held in open session.

James said it's not the appropriate time for the meeting and vote.  

"I've been walking (campaigning) today and citizens are not happy," James said. 

Suarez and Piatt declined to comment, referring all questions to the city attorney, who was not available for comment Wednesday.

The Converse general election includes the race for mayor and City Council places 1, 3 and 5. 

It's unclear how Silvas' seat will be filled.  

You can watch the meeting by clicking here.

About the Author:

Patty Santos joined the KSAT 12 News team in July 2017. She has a proven track record of reporting on hard-hitting news that affects the community.