At a special Lubbock City Council meeting today, the council majority voted that the issue of District 1 Councilman Hernandez’s eligibility to serve on the council due to back taxes is not for them to decide.
They voted 6 to 1 to ask District Attorney Matt Powell or the Texas Attorney General’s office to review Hernandez’s eligibility to serve on the council, and possibly pass the decision off to a district court judge.
Hernandez was the lone dissenting vote. He will continue to represent District 1 throughout the following proceedings until a judgment is issued. If no action is taken from the district attorney or attorney general’s office, then it is effectively a ruling in Hernandez’s favor.
Hernandez owed nearly 11,000 dollars in property taxes on his downtown office building for 2009 and 2010. KFYO first broke the story of his ineligibility to serve as a councilman under the City of Lubbock charter last week. He paid the balance of both years’ delinquent taxes Monday.
Hernandez discussed his position on the entire ordeal, saying “I also regret, very much so, having placed this council in this position. It is a position that they are carrying out, in my opinion, their duties as elected officials, and representing the interests of the entire city. I do not begrudge them their position. I do dispute the legality of the analysis that’s going to be used in the quo warranto process, but that’s an issue to be decided later on.”
“From my perspective, maybe I lost this round, but there’s plenty more ahead of us. And ultimately, the referee will be a district judge, if it gets that far,” Hernandez said.