Wednesday, August 9, 2017


By Juan Montoya

If ever there was a mystery in Cameron County government which has been held more closely than the reason for the firing of Franciso Martinez, the county's legal counsel, it's hard to remember what that would be.

While most county staffers through that the insertion of the item to evaluate his employment, compensation, discipline or possible dismissal was a routine matter periodically inserted at most agenda of the county meetings, the results were stunning.

With a motion by Pct. 4 county commissioner Gus Ruiz, the second by Pct. 1 commissioner Sofia Benavides, and the third "aye" vote by county judge Eddie Treviño, Martinez was history.

Only Pct. 3 commissioner voted "nay" against firing the county lawyer. Pct. 2 commissioner Alex Dominguez attended part of the executive session preceding the commissioners emerging to take a vote on six other items and did not cast a vote on the firing because he left for a meeting.

Martinez was hired less than a year ago – on Aug. 16, 2016 – during a special meeting. He replaced Bruce Hodge, who retired. Almost everyone thought that person would be interim legal counsel Juan Gonzalez, but at least one commissioner had a different idea.

Pct. 3 commissioner Garza quickly made a motion to offer the opening to Frank Martinez, an Asst. DA to former Cameron County District Attorney Yolanda de Leon.

Pct. 4 commissioner Gus Ruiz seconded the motion and when the vote was called, Pct. 1 commissioner Sofia Benavides and Pct. 2 commissioner Alex Dominguez voted against with Garza and Ruiz being joined in the "ayes" by interim County Judge Pete Sepulveda.

But  now it appears that Martinez had lost the support of Ruiz and Benavides, who made the motion and the second, and had not earned the confidence of Treviño. Now it remains to be seen who the majority of the court will appoint to replace Martinez. Will it be the will of the majority? Or will there be a wide search for a replacement before the new budget is passed in October?

Ruiz – an attorney – just came into office March 18, 2016 after he defeated opponent Chino Sanchez for the Pct. 4 seat during the March 1 Democratic primary. Since he had no Republican opponent, he was appointed to fill the seat left vacant by Dan Sanchez nine months early. Dan Sanchez lost to Treviño for the county judge's position. Ruiz was appointed as the legal defense of defendants in the county's veterans court which was presided by Sanchez's brother, David, a district court judge.

Since then, Ruiz has engineered the acceptance of a donation of land from a Harlingen real estate developer to build a new Pct. 4 equipment barn in return for the county extending the utilities to the site and making the developer's land more marketable. In return, the county got the land for free.

As the commissioner who seconded the initial motion less than a year ago to hire Martinez as legal counsel, Ruiz would have seemed an unlikely commissioner to make the motion to fire him now.

"Were there deals being made?," asked a county staffer. "Up until the day before his firing it appeared that Martinez was getting along with the judge. Who knows what kind of horse trading went on in executive session. This does a disservice to the lawyer and to the public. What could he have done that was so wrong that he would be fired this way? No one expected this."

After Treviño told Martinez the dismissal became effective "immediately," Martinez was escorted out of the county building to the parking lot.


Anonymous said...

I swear, Sossi and Rene Oliveira must exit our lives. These two jerks have done nothing for the district or the city. Our lives are more important than theres. We are the people not them two. Rud our lives of Rene and Mark Sossi. They are not good men. Siver tongue bullshitters

Anonymous said...

Rene Oliveira is the most dangerous politician in our area

Anonymous said...

La karma kicks butt

Anonymous said...

Check into my boss making us volunteer for her re election campaign and yelling and screaming if we don't go what part of VOLUNTARY dis she Miss in the getto college she graduated from la Vieja desnalgada and her chimp politic all day in the office and make us demand that we do to I'm getting ready to go to Human Resources and complain county clerk

Anonymous said...

Hey Juan Montoya, you today sir and your blog, are more important and detrimental to our town. This is exactly what State Representative Henry Sanchez thought of you sir. He was correct

Anonymous said...




Anonymous said...

juan, you're "detrimental" to Brownsville! ha ha ha

KBRO said...

That a few players in a crooked governing system feel plagued and harassed by the opines of a blogger shows how weak and unstable said government system is.

Anonymous said...

No doubt there is someone lurking (all lawyers lurk) in the shadows to take Martinez's position. Surely a friend of Trevino, Ruiz and Benavides. Too many lawyers willing to do anything in order to suck on the public tit.

Anonymous said...

Can't wait for Sylvia's Re-election campaign to start up again ! We will be campaigning all over Cameron County for her and we're ready to take on all challengers .

To anonymous at 3:57 with all your grammatical errors hope your boss fires your ghetto blogging ass .

While you're at Human Resources you should apply for a job that you're qualified for such as seasonal gate keeper with the parks and recreation .

Northern Cameron County is with our County Clerk Syliva Garza Perez in 2018

Anonymous said...

My vote is for anybody but sylvia , let's get buttons so we can wear to work lol or hand out I. Secret private meetings in the bosses office lol

Anonymous said...

How many Sylvia Perez's do we have in Brownsville? De las tres no se hace una. Including Dr. A

Anonymous said...

Ah yes, life in the land of the Mexican politician!

Anonymous said...

Why, you ask? Simple, Martinez did not play ball with Eddie. Here we go again, they will get a puppet on a string lawyer and Eddie will get richer, the cycle continues. Just as he did being mayor by getting the gig at PUB and making millions. He is implementing the same at the county level. Common commissioners grow a pair, and stand on the side of the tax payer and not the RATS that keep sucking us dry while they feel their pockets along with their compadres!

Anonymous said...

Eddie Trevino sucks, Bring back CARLOS Cascos. yay