by Antonio Lujan
Six months ago, Robert Mendoza was fired as the Ector County Elections Administrator. His fight to prove he was wrongly terminated by Ector County continues, because he says he was never warned or evaluated prior to being fired.
Mendoza issued a statement, quote, "I was warned at the time of the spring vote on election equipment by a County official that the County's leaders were watching me closely, and also acknowledged how difficult it was for a hispanic individual to make headway in Ector County Government."
County Judge Susan Redford says that the race had nothing to do with the Comissioners Court decision to remove him from his job.
"There were several job performance issues that were cited whenever he was terminated, unfortunately since it appears that we will be going into litigation with this issue with him filing an E.O.C. complaint. I can't comment on the specifics at this point in time," Redford said.
On Monday, in a Commisioner's Court meeting one of the items on the agenda was the approval of 2 joint elections contracts; Mendoza says election services contracts do not need to be submitted to the Commisioners Court.
"The purpose of the County Commisioners not to be involved in this process is to avoid the court overstep its political boundaries as well as prevent possible conflicts of interest," Mendoza said.
"This was not submitted to the court for approval. The item was placed on the agenda for information purposes only," Redford said.
Mendoza says it's the responsability of the Elections Administrator to make decisions independently on these matters on behalf of the county, but Redford said Mendoza failed to maintain an open line of communication.
"One of his failures was to keep Commisioners Court apprised of the activities of the elections office," Redford said.
Mendoza assures that he did his job.
"My intent was to simply follow the law and again be in step with my collegues and counties throughout the state of Texas," Mendoza said.