Ken Rodriguez - Ken Rodriguez
So here come the Texas Rangers, galloping into town, so to speak, at the request of the Atascosa County district attorney.
DA Rene Peña won't say why he asked the Rangers to investigate Poteet Mayor Lino Donato. But it's sure not for operating his taco stand without a permit.
As far as I know, Donato can serve all the chorizo con huevo he wants. As a sex offender, he just can't serve to children — or get close to where they congregate, like the library near City Hall.
Based on the petition and a plea deal reached last year, the message seems mixed: It's okay for a sex offender to run Poteet; it's not okay if he misses too many meetings.
A judge will consider the petition in November. The Rangers will investigate an undisclosed complaint. And a city will hold its nose.
Can somebody please remove this municipal stench?
I recently asked Peña if he'd be willing to admit he erred.
“Absolutely not,” he said. “I stand by the decision that was made in October of 2007. It was a just result, taking all facts into consideration known to me.”
In May, a plea agreement led to the resignation of Passaic, N.J., Mayor Samuel Rivera in a bribery scandal.
Just about everyone expected him to resign. But when Donato learned he didn't have to, he stayed.
So what if he couldn't attend meetings because of City Hall's proximity to children? Donato appointed Mayor Pro Tem Roy Ybarra to preside in his place.
With Ybarra as Donato's surrogate, no one could say the mayor had vacated his office.
Peña can't be blamed for that. But he won't apologize for a plea agreement that allowed a sex offender to remain in office.
In Atascosa County, the law is working backwards.