Mission city attorney resigns after one year on the job

dfwnewsa | February 27, 2024 | 0 | East Texas News , South Texas News

Mission city attorney resigns after one year on the job
Victor A. Flores

MISSION

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— The city attorney here has resigned after a little more than a year on the job.

Victor A. Flores first informed Mission Mayor Norie Gonzalez Garza that he was looking to leave the city during a conversation late last week, he said.

The Mission City Council subsequently discussed Flores’ proposed resignation behind closed doors during a council meeting Monday. Afterward, they unanimously accepted it, effective immediately.

Speaking after the meeting, the mayor said she was surprised, but understanding, of Flores’ decision.

“I did not expect it, I guess, yeah. But, I understand,” Gonzalez Garza said.

Flores said he did not submit a letter or any other formal notice of his resignation, aside from his informal conversation with the mayor last Thursday.

“We had a really professional conversation. I shared a few things with her and I said if she supported it, I wanted to share the same things with the council. And she supported that and that’s how it got on the agenda,” Flores told The Monitor on Tuesday.

But as for what prompted him to leave the city after just one year on the job, Flores demurred, saying those discussions were part of the council’s executive session.

“Anything that was discussed there is kind of their privileged communications. If they want to comment on it, that’s, of course, their privileged information,” he said.

The mayor said family obligations were at least part of why Flores chose to resign.

“I can’t speak for him as far as what spurred his motivation, but I think it was a long conversation that he had with his family. He’s got a young family and that’s his priority, of course, like any parent,” Gonzalez Garza said.

Flores was sworn in as city attorney on Jan. 3, 2023, meeting records show.

Officials selected him to replace Gus Martinez, a former Mission city councilman who gave up his seat less than a year after being elected in order to apply for the job in 2019.

Martinez resigned in September 2022, leaving with a severance package worth six months’ of pay.

The city of Mission City Hall on Jan. 26, 2022. (Delcia Lopez | dlopez@themonitor.com)

Mission city leaders later conducted interviews with city attorney candidates in December of that year, meeting records show. Ultimately, the city chose Flores, who was sworn in the following month.

Flores became just the third attorney to serve as in-house city attorney, after Martinez and Abiel Flores, he said.

Flores confirmed that his departure comes with no severance agreement other than what city policy typically dictates happens when an employee leaves the city.

Prior to coming to Mission, Flores served stints as an assistant or deputy city attorney in the cities of McAllen, Plano and Denton. He also served briefly as the Brownsville city attorney.

Flores is a graduate of UTRGV and the Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley School of Law, according to a biography on the city of Mission website.

He is also an Iraq War veteran, having served as a staff sergeant in the U.S. Marines.

Though his tenure with the city was short, Flores had nothing but positive things to say about his time there.

“I had a positive experience with the city of Mission. I hope we were able to make a lot of improvements to the in-house legal team. It’s fairly new,” Flores said.

After the council spent precisely an hour behind closed doors to discuss Flores’ proffered resignation, Place 2 Councilman Ruben Plata motioned to accept it, effective immediately.

Place 4 Councilman Jose Alberto “Beto” Vela seconded it, and the motion passed unanimously without any public discussion.

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“That was a choice of council. They made that determination out in the public session,” Flores said when asked about the immediacy of his departure from the city.

But as for what will happen now, the mayor said the city continues to be in good legal hands.

Mission will rely upon the on-call services of Weslaco law firm, Jones, Galligan, Key & Lozano, which is currently defending the city in a civil lawsuit filed in late-December 2023 by a property developer known as Black Diamond Developers.

“We will probably just use them on an hourly basis like we’ve been using until we find a replacement — either one attorney that would be our city attorney housed in-house or a firm,” Gonzalez Garza said.

The council will likely call a special meeting this Friday to discuss the matter further, the mayor said.

The post Mission city attorney resigns after one year on the job appeared first on MyRGV.com.

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