Three San Antonio City Council members named in secret Steele recording say he doesn’t control them
Another secret recording of fire association President Chris Steele was released Tuesday by the Go Vote No campaign, this time capturing the embattled union leader telling on-duty firefighters that he had five council members on his side.
But three of those council members stepped forward Tuesday after hearing the audio and rejected the notion that the union or any other special-interest group controlled their votes.
Council members Shirley Gonzales, Ana Sandoval and Manny Pelaez stood shoulder-to-shoulder in a cramped hallway inside the Go Vote No campaign headquarters and forcefully denounced Steele and his assertions, which were secretly recorded in late 2017 by a firefighter, according to campaign manager Christian Archer.
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“We got five solid votes now. Five solid: Greg Brockhouse in (district) 6 — he’s heading that up; Ana Sandoval in 7, Manny Pelaez in 8, Clayton Perry in 10 and Shirley Gonzales in 5,” Steele is heard saying on the recording, made in late 2017 during a meeting with on-duty firefighters at a San Antonio Fire Department station. “We’re solid. (City Manager Sheryl) Sculley can’t even make a dent in them at this point. So we’re in a better position than we have been in many years. But we don’t have six, though.”
Pelaez said he was “sad and disappointed” by Steele’s behind-closed-doors comments.
“You know who owns my vote?” he asked rhetorically. “The people who elected me.”
Sandoval said every vote she takes on the council dais is done in the best interest of District 7 residents and the rest of those who live in San Antonio.
“I’ve spoken with Mr. Steele once in my life,” she said. “For him to say he has my vote locked up is baseless.”
Gonzales told reporters that she’ll always do what’s best for her constituents and that Steele’s statement caught on tape was a “misrepresentation of the facts.”
Brockhouse has previously said it’s no secret he supports the union. Perry was expected to release a statement about Steele’s remarks later Tuesday.
Josh Baugh is a staff writer in the San Antonio and Bexar County area. Read him on our free site, mySA.com, and on our subscriber site, ExpressNews.com. | email@example.com | Twitter: @jbaugh