WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — After Tuesday’s nearly three hour hearing, then executive session, Wichita Falls City Councilor Eric West made a motion to publicly censure Wichita Falls District Five City Councilor Steve Jackson.
It passed 5-1, with Jackson voting ‘no’ and Councilor Tim Brewer absent, having left for a medical reason.
In the public hearing, businessman Ruben Rodriguez was sworn in to recount his signed affidavit saying Councilor Jackson told him the city wanted to take his property, by finding a loophole to build a new city municipal center.
But when cross-examined by Elizabeth Alvarez, Councilor Jackson’s lawyer, Rodriguez couldn’t recall certain facts and was questioned why he wouldn’t take the time to search for surveillance camera footage of Jackson at his business making the statements. Rodriguez said he was too busy to do so.
There were several residents that spoke, in support of Councilor Jackson, including Albert Flemons.
“I don’t understand why this council can’t get along and agree with him,” Flemons said. “Not everybody’s gotta agree with Steve, ‘cuz I understand. When he worked for me, he was a hard man to work for.”
“There’s a reason why people in district five don’t trust the government,” Larry Robinson said. “Most of us were forced into the city limits against our will.”
Among other contentions, Councilor Jackson and his attorney said this was an unfair hearing because the person who filed the complaint– Mayor Santellana– also presided over the hearing. But Jackson’s fellow councilors had their own reasons for being upset.
“The people who don’t have a lot of time to do the research, they don’t have a lot of time to look at the paper or watch the news, they see the little clip or they look on Facebook and they read little half parts of this and they don’t have much time to read the full story,” Wichita Falls District 1 City Councilor Eric West said. “They walk away not trusting this city council.”
“I think it was very disrespectful for you to go into my district to do what you did,” Wichita Falls District 2 City Councilor Deandra Chenault said.
Also during the hearing, Councilor Jackson said he didn’t take time to review the information on the complaint that was sent to him, because he was dealing with an abscessed tooth.
Following the decision, the mayor said Jackson is a good Christian who cares about the city and he looks forward to making positive improvements with the entire council.