Saturday, March 1, 2014

Ineligible for Office - Mayor Casarez Seeks Reelection

Mayor A. Hector Casarez decided to violate his oath of office and run for re-election although clearly in violation of state law. Casarez admitted he left the city and moved to Houston in June 2013. Now he's running for mayor when the law requires that mayor candidates be CONTINUOUSLY RESIDENT IN THE CITY FOR ONE YEAR.

Looks like the old-school has returned and Wilmer is regressing to the Don Hudson era of non-resident mayors, election fraud, vote buying and deception.

Casarez publicly admitted abandoning his position and moving to Houston in two articles in the Ellis County Press back in June 2013. [ED Note: See Ellis County Press "Wilmer Mayor Urged to Step Down" from June 6, 2013. See Ellis County Press "Wilmer Mayor Still Eligible to Hold Office" from June 14, 2013.]

The June 6 article states "Wilmer Mayor Hector Casarez moved to Houston last November after accepting a job" and "Casarez was appointed mayor in September 2011". Casarez left town to work in Houston back in November, 2012 - only 14 months after being appointed mayor.

The June 13 news article opens with a frank admission that the mayor left the jurisdiction, abandoning his elected post: "Though the mayor of Wilmer has accepted a contract job in Houston and has leased an apartment...".

The June 13 news article concludes somehow that Casarez was still eligible to hold office - quoting City Administrator Denny Wheat's "non-legal opinion" as a reference and doesn't refer to any legal citations, case law, or court opinions to back up their conclusion. It should be noted that Denny Wheat willingly admits he has no knowledge of the legal requirements of a "Type A General Law Municipality" and conducts the city's affairs as if Wilmer was a Home Rule City with a Charter and a City Manager - the only environment he has ever experienced in his bureaucratic career.

[ED Note: The Texas Local Government Code and numerous Attorney general's opinions disagree with Wheat's assertion and the article's conclusion that Casarez was still eligible to hold office after leaving the jurisdiction and abandoning his position. However, since the city council took no formal action to remove him for abandoning his post, he remains in office.]

Even so, the article says NOTHING about Casarez' eligibility to seek re-election, which requires a 12 month continuous residency requirement for mayor candidates under state law.

State law clearly states that a candidate for mayor must continuously reside within the municipality for at least 12 months preceeding election day: Texas Local Government Code Section 22.032 QUALIFICATIONS OF MEMBERS OF GOVERNING BODY (a) To be eligible for the office of mayor of the municipality, a person must be a registered voter and must have resided within the municipal limits for at least the 12 months preceding the election day.

To be fair, the law does provide that if the candidate's residence address is part of the city on election day, residency applies. [ED Note: Last time I checked, Houston Texas wasn't anywhere close to being annexed or made a part of Wilmer.]

Regular daily late night and early morning surveillance of the Casarez house reveals that the Mayor only regularly occupies the house on Dallas Avenue on nights when the City Council has a scheduled or called meeting. During the recently cancelled council meetings due to weather, Casarez was seen at the Dallas Avenue house on those cancelled meeting dates. However, on most days at between 1-5AM the Mayor's vehicle is nowhere to be seen in Wilmer, Texas. Coincidently, the Mayor works just a block from the Hyatt House in Dallas where Southport Developer Bill Wynne "resides" when in Texas - and the Mayor's return from Houston coincides with the time frame when the Southport development dominated the City's business activities for both the City Council and the City Administrator.

Seems that the residents of Wilmer have long memories about SOME things - Adelfia Casarez sucessfully campaigned for office years ago, only to resign after getting her boyfriend a job with the city, according to word on the street.

This reporter campaigned for mayor in 2012 against Casarez, and finds it astounding that Mr. Casarez would subject not only himself, but also HIS MOTHER, to the embarrassment of running for office. For long-time Wilmer residents, past indiscretions are still the talk of the town whenever the Casarez name pops up in conversation.


Editor Publisher said...

I never said he was a house!
BUT in the mayor's own words of April 22, 2013:
"My engagement here in Houston, TX has been extended to the end of the calendar year. That being said, we are going to have to make some changes in our living arrangements here in Houston."

Editor Publisher said...

BY THE WAY folks, it doesn't matter that the mayor never changed his driver's license or voter registration - or what the policies of the Dallas County Election department may be about eligible voters.

Completely different laws govern what determines an eligible CANDIDATE for MAYOR! Check out Texas Local Government Code Section 22.032 (a):
To be eligible for the office of mayor of the municipality, a person must be a registered voter and must have resided within the municipal limits for at least the 12 months preceding the election day.

jrewilmer said...

Does this also apply to Adelphia?

Editor Publisher said...

jrewilmer - The one year rule only applies to the Mayor. Election code requires 6 months in the jurisdiction and one year in the state - so Adelfia would NOT be eligible if she returned on 31Aug2013 like the Mayor, given the 28Feb2014 sign-up date. However, the elction code defers to the Local Govt. Code which only requires council candidates to be resident on the day of the election.