Poteet city officials stand down, agree to allow councilwoman to stay in her home

Councilwoman Denise Sanchez agrees to temporarily relocate so home can be repaired

Poteet city officials stand down, agree to allow councilwoman to stay in her home
Poteet city officials stand down, agree to allow councilwoman to stay in her home

POTEET, Texas – Poteet city officials late this week agreed to allow a councilwoman to remain living in her home, days after police threatened to arrest her if she did not vacate the property.

The agreement, signed by both sides and approved by Poteet Municipal Court Presiding Judge Bill Gamez, sets aside an enforcement action signed by Gamez earlier this year that required Sanchez to move out earlier this month due to safety violations uncovered by city inspectors dating as far back as November 2018.

Sanchez refused the order and instead filed a federal lawsuit this week accusing several high-ranking city officials of attempting to have her removed from her home because she repeatedly challenged their authority.

The suit claimed that, at one point, Sanchez was criminally charged and banned from City Hall after an alleged altercation with a city staff member.

The criminal case was later dismissed, according to the suit, but Sanchez remains banned from City Hall, except to attend council meetings.

The house, located in the 700 block of Avenue E, belongs to Sanchez’s late father’s estate.

Poteet councilwoman files federal suit to keep city from removing her from her home

Sanchez resides in it, along with a disabled military veteran in poor health.

“It’s taken a lot, a lot of my health — the stress. Like I’ve said, ‘You can’t see my scars. They’re all inside me,’” Sanchez said Friday.

As part of the agreed order, Sanchez and her roommate will temporarily move out by June 8 so that necessary repairs, including the installation of wiring in a back room and the kitchen, can be made.

City officials have agreed to no longer attempt to remove or relocate any of the inhabitants of the home.

An attorney representing the city released a copy of the signed order but declined to comment on it.

As part of the order, both sides are scheduled to be in court in late July to examine whether the necessary repairs were made.

An attorney representing Sanchez has agreed to rescind his federal court request for a judge to issue a temporary restraining order in the case.

About the Authors:

Emmy-award winning reporter Dillon Collier joined the KSAT 12 Defenders in 2016. Dillon's investigative stories air weeknights on the Nightbeat. He provides restaurant health reports for KSAT's "Behind the Kitchen Door." Dillon is a two-time Houston Press Club Journalist of the Year and a Texas Associated Press Broadcasters Reporter of the Year.

Joshua Saunders is an Emmy-nominated photographer/editor who has worked in the San Antonio market for the past 20 years. Joshua works in the Defenders unit, covering crime and corruption throughout the city.