City attorney candidate withdraws name from consideration

September 21, 2018

One of four finalists for the position of Brownsville city attorney has dropped out.

Denton City Attorney Aaron Leal told the Brownsville Herald that he withdrew his name from consideration on Thursday. He declined to comment further.

A debate about whether to postpone the vote on a new city attorney turned heated during Tuesday’s Brownsville City Commission meeting. Mayor Tony Martinez argued that the vote should be postponed because only two of the four candidates had been interviewed during the hour-long executive session before the meeting. He also said not all commissioners had interviewed all four candidates.

One candidate, presumably Leal, had only been available by phone and the fourth candidate was in Florida.

Remaining candidates are Pensacola City Attorney Lysia H. Bowling, Brownsville attorney and municipal court judge Rene E. De Coss, and Brownsville attorney Gerry Linan. Commissioner Rose Gowen told the Herald that De Coss and Linan were interviewed Tuesday.

Commissioner Ben Neece said Commissioner Cesar de Leon, who led the search committee, ignored input from the search committee members on the job description and legal department structure.

De Leon fired back by saying he had been transparent throughout the process.

“I’m not saying and I never said we should take action or no action. I said we should discuss it,” he said of the city attorney position.

Commissioners ultimately voted to table the issue until Oct. 2.


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