Monday, January 23, 2017


By Juan Montoya
For the months preceding the Nov. 3, 2015 vote where Brownsville Mayor Tony Martinez's bid for a tax resale property forfeited for delinquent taxes was discussed in executive session and put for  a vote in open session, he had been negotiating with the Texas Rio Grande Legal Rural Aid to sell the non-profit the property next door where his law offices were located.

The tax resale property was located at 1224 E. Van Buren, next to the mayor's law firm at 1206 E. Van Buren.

And despite the prohibition in the Texas Government Code requiring an affidavit of conflict of interest and the prohibition of a public official's further participation or vote on the matter, Martinez was present in executive session when John Guevara, the representative of the tax-delinquent firm Linbarger Goggan Blair and Sampson, made the offer on 16 properties to the full commission, including the mayor.

A videotape of the Nov. 3 meeting.
meeting meeting which shows Martinez participating in the unanimous vote to approve the bids on the 16 properties – including the one he bid on – is on the city's website for the Nov. 3 meeting.

The property in question was a half-lot (rear) of Lot 3, Block 153 of the Brownsville Original Townsite.

TRGLRA was looking for a place to relocate from their cramped office at a historically-restored residence in the Brownsville Historical District at 531 St. Charles Street that belonged to former Cameron County Judge Gilberto Hinojosa. The holdup that prevented TRGLRA from purchasing the property from the mayor for his property at 1206 E. Van Buren St. was the lack of adequate parking space.

It just so happened that Martinez heard that the half-rear of Lot 3 next to his office was held for resale by the tax-delinquent properties attorneys and bid on the property July 7, 2015. His $5,200 bid for the property assessed at $13,500 was put before the Cameron County Commissioners Court, the trustees of the Brownsville Independent school Board and the commissioners of the City of Brownsville.

All approved the sale on Nov. 3 and the properties were sold. The buyer was Antonio Martinez, the same Antonio Martinez who signed as mayor accepting for the city of Brownsville (See graphic of the moment the unanimous vote was cast below).

In the months following the sale – after Martinez had paved the half lot and turned it into a parking lot, the TRGLRA bought Martinez law office properties assessed at $336,124 by the Cameron County Appraisal District.

There is no record of what the TRGLRA paid Martinez for his offices. But given the added parking spaces provided by the half lot Martinez acquired with his illegal vote, conservatively, that price tag could conceivably go over $500,000. The $5,200 investment in the tax resale property allowed Martinez to reap $100,000s more on the sale of his offices held up by the lack of adequate parking spaces.

The appraisal district's files show that the TRGLRA purchased the property from THT Tales LCC, a corporation with offices at 1206 Van Buren, in Brownsville which lists Martinez as its principal on Nov. 1, 2016.

That same property was transferred to THT Tales by TM Valley Enterprises on June 24, 2011. TM Valley Enterprises also lists its offices at 1206 E. Van Buren Street in Brownsville and lists Tony Martinez as its president.


Anonymous said...

Capitalism at its best! "It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain

Anonymous said...

Call the Feds

Anonymous said...

We need to get together and get Luis Saenz to indict! Who's with me?!?!

Anonymous said...

Mr. DA remember no one above the law.

Anonymous said...

DA only goes after drunks and wife beaters that don't have any money, right Mr. Ahumada?

Anonymous said...

Get VICTOR CORTEZ to head the investigation.

Anonymous said...

I challenger DA Luis Saenz to put his words into action.
He only goes after what is going to profit him and compadrismo
is alive and well in Brownsville que es ina vueguenza! Come on,
Mr. Law and Order; set up a Reel in the Elected Crooks posy and you
may as well included yourself in the Most Wanted List!!!!

Anonymous said...

Lock him up !!!!!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Sad, but the truth of the matter is nothing will be done. Luis does and will continue to do what benefits his CORRUPT ASS !! The thread of CORRUPTION is sown through too many of our elected officials. His cheif of his integrity unity George Delaney is only good for being Luis's yes boy and picking up lunch tabs.... Unfortunately we need outside investigation to bring an end to this rampant problem of CORRUPTION

Anonymous said...

Call in Chuck Norris to bit the blank out
of Tony Martinez, Charlie Cabler, Luis Saenz.
Call in the Rangers!

chief cool arrow said...

so what who cares? if you do file a complaint with the feds right?