Staffer re-hired after mistake
LAREDO MORNING TIMES | Posted: Friday, January 15, 2016 2:39 am
A former Webb County payroll technician will be returning to her job next week after she was fired late last year for, among other things, an oversight that allowed County Attorney Marco Montemayor to be overpaid $11,290.
The county's Civil Service Commission ruled Thursday that former employee Rosalinda Chavez's Dec. 285 termination will now be labeled as suspension without pay from Dec. 28 to Jan. 19.
County Treasurer Delia Perales fired Chavez after discovering that she sued her work email for personal reasons, which kept her distracted from her job, Perales said.
Perales said she has had several disciplinary issues with Chavez through the years. She said Chavez has had a hard time accepting supervisor's orders since she was hired in 2007.
Most recently, Perales said Chavez made big mistakes on the job in the past year. They included Montemayor's overpayment and not deducting federal taxes, unemployment, Medicare and Social Security from 13 election workers' pay in March.
Chavez said she was placed on administrative leave with pay in September for five days. Upon returning to the office, Chavez said was suspended for the following 10 days.
Chavez last year filed a grievance against her supervisor, claiming discrimination and a hostile work environment. She stated she felt discriminated against because her job duties had been reduced.
After hearing the details of her grievance on Dec. 3, the commission asked Chavez, Perales and the county's administrative services department to mediate and come up with a resolution by Dec, 17.
Perales did not follow through with the commission's order. She said she went through her payroll employees' emails from Aug.1 to Dec. 11 and proposed Chavez's termination. based on those emails.
"It's careless," Perales said. "...I care about the taxpayers. I've been in office for four terms, and respect the taxpayers."
Chavez later filed an appeal against the county's treasury department for her termination.
Her attorney, Guillermo del Barrio Jr., on Thursday said Chavez was not given counseling or another alternative.
Del Barrio said Chavez' termination resulted from the personal grievance she filed last year. Chavez told the commission Perales said she would terminate her if she filed a personal grievance.
The county treasurer denied those allegations.
"People keep voting for me," Perales said. "They know I'm honest and hard working. That's the pattern I want to follow in my office."
Commissioner James Kuykendall said Chavez is returning to work without back pay as punishment for not following the county's email policy.
(Kendra Ablaza can be reached at 728-2538 or email@example.com)
Woman recants allegation that man tried to sexually assault her
LAREDO MORNING TIMES | Posted: Saturday, April 16, 2016 2:00 pm
The case against a man accused of attempted sexual assault was dismissed recently after the alleged victim, a high school student, recanted the allegations.
An indictment filed June 17 charged Juan Jose Guerra, 39, with the third-degree felony offense of attempted sexual assault.
A motion to dismiss the indictment was filed March 31 by the assistant district attorney prosecuting the case.
“The complaining witness has requested dismissal and has recanted the allegations. The evidence is now insufficient to proceed with prosecution,” court records state.
Guerra’s attorney, Guillermo del Barrio, could not be reached Friday for comment. His client was accused of attempting to sexually assault an 18-year-old female student March 26, 2015 at a residence.