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San Antonio Council Members Want to Create Ethics Officer Position, but the City Charter May Not Allow It 

click to enlarge Adriana Rocha Garcia - JADE ESETEBAN ESTRADA
  • Jade Eseteban Estrada
  • Adriana Rocha Garcia
Two members of San Antonio's city council want to add a new independent ethics officer to the city payroll to oversee campaign finance and lobbying complaints.

The problem, according to an Express-News report, is the city charter may not allow them to move ahead with the plan.

District 1 Councilman Roberto Treviño and District 4 Councilwoman Adriana Rocha Garcia proposed the new position to give ethics probes more distance from council and city staff. In an Express-News interview, Treviño pointed out that other big cities, including Atlanta, have similar ethics czars.

But City Attorney Andy Segovia told the daily that San Antonio's charter already includes a detailed ethics code, meaning voters would need to approve an amendment to create the position. Under state law, the city charter can only be altered at the ballot box.

Meanwhile, Treviño and Rocha Garcia argue that their proposal doesn't require a charter amendment.

Stay tuned. Doesn't sound like this one's going to sort itself out overnight.

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