KFOX14 Investigates: City leaders emails, texts regarding city manager contract

City Manager Tommy Gonzalez

The El Paso city manager got the contract he was looking for. That includes trips to Dallas to see a doctor on the city’s dime and a 5 percent merit-based raise in June.

The contract was not without controversy.

The City Council also approved paying $60,000 in legal fees for Gonzalez.

These are all aspects of the contract KFOX14 Investigates first reported on in December when we obtained a leaked copy of the contract.

Now we’re getting a look at what city leaders were saying after the contract became public.

KFOX14 Investigates first broke the story of the leaked copy of the contract and the perks it contained on a Friday in December.

That Monday, Gonzalez sent Mayor Dee Margo and city Rep. Michiel Noe an email regarding the contract saying:

"This went around entire state of Texas! And you wonder why I want clauses in my contract. I sincerely am at a loss on the way this has been handled!”

We asked the city what kind of clauses the city manager is looking for. The city said it's for indemnification clauses, which provide compensation for harm or loss.

I filed the open records requests, showing the responses from city leaders to our story.

The documents show Gonzalez forwarded our article to City Rep. Claudia Ordaz, saying, "FYI not good."

City Rep. Dr. Sam Morgan was also particularly upset about the contract being leaked.

He chairs the financial oversight committee that drafted Gonzalez's contract

He texted Ordaz saying, "This is a damned shame."

Morgan sent another text to the mayor saying: "Dee this is ridiculous! In case you don’t know KFOX news last night reported on an exclusive leaked copy of Tommy's contract."

Two days before the council meeting, he texted the mayor.

"I highly encourage the council to postpone rushing Tommy’s contract updates as we still don't have a document that the council and the city manager has agreed upon."

Morgan also shared with other city leaders that upset constituents were"flooding" his inbox.

We also found emails from other concerned citizens to their city leaders, upset over the proposed contract.

Others were upset that the city had not yet come to terms with the police union.

Those complaints fell on deaf ears, as only City Reps. Cassandra Hernandez and Alessandra Annello voted against the contract.

Gonzalez also forwarded former City Rep. Michiel Noe an article from the El Paso Times from three years ago about benefits padding El Paso superintendents' pay. The significance of that article isn’t clear.

Gonzalez could receive a five percent raise in June, based on a performance evaluation.

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