Uvalde City Council denies leave of absence from future meetings for Pete Arredondo

State police have blamed Arredondo for delayed police response to shooting

Uvalde City Council members voted unanimously Tuesday night to deny Councilman Pete Arredondo’s request for “a leave of absence from future council meetings.”

The Council received much pushback and testimony from area residents and families, urging council members not to grant the leave of absence, despite Arredondo’s written request to do so.

Arredondo, the beleaguered chief of police for Uvalde CISD, was sworn in as a councilman in a private ceremony the week after the shooting at Robb Elementary School that left 21 people dead.

He has been largely blamed by state officials for the more than hour-long delay in officers stopping the gunman.

One Uvalde resident said if the Council were to approve the leave of absence, they’d be “adding fuel to a raging fire.”

“I ask you, do the right thing and deny the leave of absence. Let Mr. Arredondo fall on his own sword,” the resident added.

When it came time to vote, Councilman Ernest King made the motion, which was seconded soon after. All were in full agreement and denied the leave of absence.

The result of the council’s vote does not appear to have bearing on Arredondo’s role on the council. However, if Arredondo fails to attend three consecutive City Council meetings, per city policy, the Council could hold a special election and vote to remove him from the Council.

He has not made an appearance at a Council meeting and has largely been in hiding since the shooting.

Arredondo was elected earlier this year, before the massacre that killed 19 students and two teachers at Robb Elementary.

Arredondo has said he didn’t know he was the on-scene commander.

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About the Authors:

Kolten Parker is digital executive producer at KSAT. Previously, he worked at the San Antonio Express-News and the Texas Observer.

Cody King is a digital journalist for KSAT 12. She previously worked for WICS/WRSP 20 in Springfield, Illinois.