Thursday, August 7, 2008

That's some catch that catch 22

Seems like his Honor got himself into a pretty good Catch 22 here.

Don't go to city council meetings and lose your position, go to the meetings and lose your freedom.

He should have resigned.

Atascosa DA wants absent Poteet mayor out of office
Sara Inés Calderón - Express-News

POTEET — The district attorney for Atascosa County has asked a judge to remove this city's mayor, Lino Donato, from office because of his continued absences at City Council meetings.
Donato's status as a registered sex offender prohibits him from attending meetings at City Hall, which is within 1,000 feet of places where children commonly gather.

District Attorney Rene Peña filed a petition Tuesday in state District Court in Jourdanton, arguing that Donato should be removed because he has not performed his duties as mayor.
Peña declined to comment, saying he would wait for the legal process to take its course. Mayo Galindo, a San Antonio attorney, will handle the matter for the state, according to the filing.
Although Donato accepted deferred adjudication in October for three counts of indecency with a child, part of his plea agreement included registering as a sex offender here. Deferred adjudication is not a final conviction, although Donato could be convicted if he fails to complete the terms of a 10-year probation.

Donato refused to stand down as mayor, instead appointing Mayor Pro Tem Roy Ybarra to preside over council meetings. When Ybarra wasn't re-elected in May, Donato did not appoint the new mayor pro tem, Fred Catala, to act in his place but resumed his duties as mayor — although he still was unable to attend meetings.

Repeated attempts to contact Donato were unsuccessful.

City Attorney Frank Garza said a provision in state law for “general law” cities allows the removal of an elected official who misses three regular meetings without an excuse.
In the petition, Peña contends Donato's continued absences at council meetings prevent him from performing his duties as mayor and asked the court to vacate the office.