Why does the Taylor City Attorney, Ted Hejl, want to lie to Taylor citizens?
By Tom Mowdy
Taylor, TX. - August 29, 2016 - The Taylor City Attorney, Ted Hejl, told the Taylor Press a great big lie in Sunday’s, August 28, 2016, article “Mowing bid puts council in the weeds.” It is about the continuing saga of Taylor Councilmembers and conflict of interest requirements in the Taylor City Charter.
Ted Hejl was quoted by the Taylor press as saying: “Both Texas government codes and the city charter have mechanisms to deal with conflicts like this and Lopez satisfied those provisions.”
Taylor City Attorney's Office
Ted Hejl is deliberately deceiving Taylor Citizens. The Taylor City Charter does have a way to deal with “Conflict of Interest” as defined by State law. Without question, the Charter requires a Councilmember who has a conflict of interest with the City of Taylor to immediately forfeit and vacate the office.
So, Ted Hejl lied, Ms. Christine Lopez has not satisfied the Taylor Charter provisions. But, apparently using Ted Hejl’s advice she will continue to violate the Taylor City Charter, Texas law, and the Texas Constitution.
The other four City Councilmembers, who swore to uphold our Constitutions, Texas laws and the Taylor City Charter remain silent. I suggest they, and Ms. Lopez, read the Taylor City Ethics Ordinance, 99.17. Particularly the beginning paragraphs.
The silence of the other four City Councilmembers portrays a pattern that has me concerned. Two of those individuals are lawyers and have made special sworn obligations for conduct that requires them to step forward and denounce the false representations made by the City Attorney. They know that they are violating their special oaths and professional conduct requirements.
When Ted Hejl implies there is a provision in the Taylor City Charter for a Councilmember to be recused from a substantial conflict of interest, he is lying. There is no such recusal process in the Taylor City Charter.
Click here for a copy of the Taylor City Charter and see if you can find any such provision other than forfeiting and vacating. See for yourself, forfeit and vacate is it. No Section 4.2 "Qualification" recusal addressed anywhere in the Taylor City Charter, Ted Hejl lied.
The Texas Constitution allows for cities to operate under the concept of “Home Rule.” That means each city can make up their own rules. Taylor citizens voted and approved the Charter as written which prohibits substantial conflict of interest and requires any Councilmember with a substantial conflict of interest to immediately forfeit and vacate the office.
The Texas Attorney General wrote a handbook explaining Texas Conflict of Interest and explains that some cities will include the same prohibition that Taylor Citizens voted into their charter. That provision is a complete prohibition of conflict of interest as defined by Texas law.
When you look at the Taylor Charter, you won’t find a recusal procedure for Section 4.2 Qualifications, but you will find Ted Hejl’s signature approving the Taylor City Charter. So, he knows he is lying.
The one thing you won't see Ted Hejl, or the Williamson County Attorney, Dee Hobbs, do is write to the Texas Attorney General asking for an opinion. They both know the Texas AG will, as shown by their handbook, support the provisions of the City Charter which gives only one option. That option is for Ms. Lopez to obey the law and immediately forfeit and vacate the office.
Ted Hejl, the Taylor City Attorney, is lying to the Taylor Citizens and we need to know why? This is the same guy who knew about and ignored the Taylor Housing Authority $2.5 million scam for years.
"Corruption in our courts and government will not be stopped by those at the top, they benefit too much. It can only be stopped from the bottom, by each voter becoming informed and holding city and county elected officials responsible.
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