Friday, May 3, 2013

Guilty of Fiduciary Malfeasance? Steve Ortega, Susie Byrd, and Cortney Niland Cause $3 MILLION Dollar Budget Shortfall

Steve Ortega, Susie Byrd, and Cortney Niland Cause $3 MILLION Dollar Budget Shortfall

$9 MILLION Dollar impact in Financial Damage to City

Fiduciary - A fiduciary duty is a legal duty to act solely in another party's interests. Parties owing this duty are called fiduciaries. The individuals to whom they owe a duty are called principals. Fiduciaries may not profit from their relationship with their principals unless they have the principals' express informed consent. They also have a duty to avoid any conflicts of interest between themselves and their principals or between their principals and the fiduciaries' other clients. A fiduciary duty is the strictest duty of care recognized by the US legal system. (Legal Information Institute).

Malfeasance - wrongful and unlawful conduct, especially conduct by public officials which interferes with their public duties (Black's Law Dictionary).

by Jerry

An email obtained via the Texas Open Records Act and posted at shows that City Representatives Steve Ortega, Susie Byrd, and Courtney Niland knew on August 24, 2012 that the Western Refinery Property Tax appraisal would be between $216 to $280 million dollars. Even though they knew this  -- they kept it quiet.  


As a result, this caused a $3 MILLION Dollar Budget Shortfall with a $9 MILLION Dollar impact in financial damage to the City, damage harming all El Pasoans.


Who Knew What and When?

Dinah Kilgore stated that she met with ALL the taxing entities in July 2012 and informed them not to count on the Western Refinery property tax money from the $780 million dollar appraisal.

Rep. Suzie Byrd

On August 24, 2012, Susie Byrd forwarded an email to Steve Ortega and Courtney Niland stating that the Central Appraisal District (CAD) board will not allocate funds to go to court and instead will negotiate a settlement with Western Refinery and the expected property tax appraisal would be between $216 to $280 million dollars.


Byrd attributed these statements to a conversation with Dinah Kilgore, Director Central Appraisal District proving that Dinah Kilgore is telling the truth about giving the City notice.


Steve Ortega, Susie Byrd, and Courtney Niland KEPT THE SHORTFALL QUIET!


Gary Hanson spokesman from Western Refinery stated his company notified all the taxing entities not to count on the $780 million dollar appraisal.


Furthermore, are we really expected to believe that the City Manager Joyce Wilson and Chief Financial Officer Carmen Arrieta Candelaria were not informed by both Dinah Kilgore and Western Refinery, but Susie Byrd was????


Could the Budget Shortfall Have Been Prevented?




Photo obtained via Occupy City Hall

City Manager Joyce Wilson and the Chief Financial Officer Carmen Arrietta Candelaria had a responsibility to amend the budget and submit a truthful accounting of expected property taxes in July 2012 when notified by both Dinah Kilgore and Western Refining.


Steve Ortega, Susie Byrd and Courtney Niland could have prevented this from happening in August 2012 at the beginning of the budget year. Ortega, Byrd, and Niland had a responsibility to post an agenda item to review the impact on the budget rather than “keeping it quiet” until May 2013, the last quarter of the budget cycle when the budget shortfall would have triple the impact.


Who gets Harmed?

As a result of “their secret,” Steve Ortega, Susie Byrd, and Courtney Niland have harmed every person in the City.


Yes taxpayers, you will have to make up the shortfall in higher taxes or lose services.


What are the Financial Damages?


The expected financial impact is between $11.3 to 17.3 MILLION Dollars in budget shortfalls countywide.


KVIA reported Western Refinery CAD settlement leaves budgets short

You can read the KVIA story here


The Western Refinery Property Tax Settlement is expected to cost in budget shortfalls:

§  The City $3 million dollars and an actual impact of $9 million dollars

According to Mayor Cook with only a quarter of the year left that $3 million triples to a $9 million dollar impact on the city budget.

To put it in perspective, the City only keeps a $16 million dollar reserve fund and they want you to lower that in the Charter Amendment Propositions!

§  The County $1.7 million dollars

§  The El Paso Independent School District $5.3 million dollars

§  The El Paso Community College $500,000

§  The University Medical Center $800,000


The Convenient Scapegoats: Central Appraisal District Board (CAD) and Dinah Kilgore


Steve Ortega had no response which is no surprise since he thinks he answers to no one.


Amazingly, Susie Byrd’s response to the KVIA story regarding CAD was "It's almost

like they make this stuff up," City Rep. Susie Byrd said.


 Geez “It’s actually like Susie Byrd is completely lacking in both honesty and integrity.”


Courtney Niland has “volunteered” to sit on the Central Appraisal District (CAD) Board and “vowed to do what she can to prevent something like this from ever happening again.”  


Newsbreak to Niland! Your oath of office is a “vow”!


You had a responsibility to take steps to prevent this in August 2012. Do you really expect us to believe your “vow”?


Vote INFORMED EL PASO  - It’s time to Clean Out a Corrupt City Government!

Do you really think Steve Ortega is fit for public office much less Mayor?


Do you really think Susie Byrd is fit for public office much less an EPISD school board trustee?


Do you really trust Carmen Arrieta Candelaria to “fix” the problems at EPISD by serving on the EPISD Board of Managers?


Are you tired of being scammed for millions of dollars by City Manager Joyce Wilson?


Steve Ortega, Susie Byrd, and Courtney Niland should resign or be removed from office immediately by recall or fiduciary malfeasance. They should NEVER be allowed to run for elected office again.


Joyce Wilson and Carmen Arrieta Candelaria need to shown to the door.