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Big Spring Housing Authority Board of Commissioners chairperson removed from position following hearing

Margaret Cervantes has been removed as a commissioner for the board after Big Spring Mayor Shannon Thomason ruled on charges of neglect of duty.

BIG SPRING, Texas — Big Spring Housing Authority Board of Commissioners are under fire after being accused of two charges of neglect of duty by Big Spring Mayor Shannon Thomason.

The mayor held a hearing Monday, hoping to get some answers from the board.

Thomason ruled that the commissioners failed to have oversight on the Director of the Big Spring Housing Authority, Sharon Fritz.

Thomason also ruled that the board has failed in complying with reporting requirements as per Texas Local Government Code.

As a result of the hearing, Chairperson Margaret Cervantes was removed as a commissioner.

As NewsWest 9 previously reported, Joann Valle resigned from her position as a commissioner on the board a few days before the hearing.

The three other commissioners, Bruce Brown, Stephanie Guzman and Royce Savory will remain on the board since they were appointed within the last year.

NewsWest 9 spoke to the mayor after the hearing. He said the decision made was necessary since he oversees the board.

"These were failings of the director, but it's the board's responsibility to make sure the director does it," said Thomason. "The board has oversight of the director, I have oversight of the board. Ultimately, if it doesn't get done, it falls to the mayor to make sure that it starts getting done."

According to the hearing notice, the charges include two counts of neglect of duty.

The notice states the following:

Specific charge: Neglect of Duty. The Big Spring Housing Authority Board of Commissioners has failed to exercise adequate oversight of Director Sharon Fritz in accordance with Texas Local Government Code Sec. 392.038. 

Specific charge: Neglect of Duty. The Big Spring Housing Authority Board of Commissioners has failed to comply with Texas Local Government Code Sec. 392.062(b).

Sharon Fritz said that the mayor failed to give the commissioners time to address the issue.

"I'm supposed to run the agency and the commissioners are supposed to oversee me, that's how this should've been handled," said Fritz. "He should've taken it to the commissioners and let them do their job and then let them present it to me. We could look and see what needs to be done or changes to be made. That's not what was done."

Fritz said she has given her notice to resign.

"I'm not going to play these games," said Fritz. "This agency runs by the books and he to me, slandered this agency, slandered my commissioners and slandered me. I don't appreciate it."

NewsWest 9 reached out to Margaret Cervantes after the hearing. She said she had "no comment" at this time.

As for the two new appointees, the mayor plans to have them in the next few days.