El Paso city attorney’s evaluation released
EL PASO, Texas (KFOX14) —
KFOX14 Investigates obtained El Paso city attorney’s 2017 performance evaluation.
New records show City Council was not satisfied with the outgoing city attorney.
This latest review shows council wasn't happy with its legal counsel and suggests Sylvia Borunda Firth was pushed out.
This comes one day after they agreed to give her a $274,000 severance package for “retiring.”
“The questions are 'why did this occur?' It's mutually agreed to, I knew where we stood as a council,” said Mayor Dee Margo on Monday.
Monday, the mayor said he knew a change needed to happen. Tuesday, we’re learning why.
Several council members gave Firth low marks on her 2017 review. The performance evaluation is graded on a scale of 1-5 with one being "unsatisfactory" and five being "exemplary."
Firth received several "unsatisfactory" marks when it came to things like communication with council and her relationship with council.
Council members suggested Firth didn’t disclose conflicts of interests or perceived conflicts of interest.
Council also wanted justification for Firth hiring her sister, who's also an attorney, in 2014 to work on the collective bargaining agreement with the firefighter union. The city failed to negotiate a resolution -- so the contract went to the voters.
City Rep. Alexsandra Annello wrote Firth often gives her personal opinion rather than just provide legal facts.
Northeast Rep. Sam Morgan also says Firth needs to “develop a trusted functional relationship with the city manager.”
Eastside Rep. Michiel Noe wrote, “she needs to trust council and stop withholding information.”
Several representatives also raised questions about the excessive amount of cases assigned to outside council.
Council members also wrote -- they didn't think Firth was proactive in addressing legal issues before they became problems.
Her last day with the city is May 31.
Overall, she did not receive the 5 percent merit increase in 2018.
She would have been eligible for 5 percent pay raise if she had “exceeded standards” rating on her evaluation.
On Monday, city leaders revealed Firth’s retirement payout following council’s approval on the separation agreement between her and the city of El Paso.