City Commissioner Cesar De Leon was apologetic Wednesday after multiple social media users this week shared audio clips of him using derogatory slurs to describe two assistant district attorneys.
De Leon is also heard speaking derogatorily about his fellow city commissioners in the audio segments shared on Facebook this week.
“I want to begin by apologizing,” De Leon told The Brownsville Herald on Wednesday. “I want to apologize to the citizens of Brownsville or whoever had to listen to those tapes because there is a lot of profane language and that was a private conversation. It was never meant to be public, but it’s very important that people understand that I’m very apologetic.”
In the clips, De Leon used the F-word and N-word to describe two black district attorneys working for the Cameron County District Attorney’s Office.
“There are a couple of [F-word and N-word] that Luis Saenz is getting, and I don’t know where he is getting them from,” De Leon is recorded saying. “They are coming down to my [F-word] city and now they are trying to [F-word] put everybody in jail because they think we are a bunch of Mexicans that hit our wives, which couldn’t be further from the [F-word] truth, but that is how they see us.
“They are [F-word] … and I would say this, that I would never dare use that word, but you know what, yes, there are a couple of [N-word] in there that think that all of us are [F-word] taco eaters,” De Leon said.
On Wednesday, District Attorney Luis Saenz responded to the viral audio clips: “The people of Cameron County expect me to hire the most competent prosecutors that I can find, without regard to their race, and that is what I strive to do. Mr. De Leon’s remarks are very shameful and hurtful. It is extremely disappointing that they are made by a lawyer and a representative of the City of Brownsville.”
De Leon believes the audio tapes were recorded, edited and released by former Brownsville fire chief Carlos Elizondo, with whom De Leon said he was having a private conversation.
Elizondo could not be reached for comment Wednesday. A message on his mobile phone said that “the number you have dialed has calling restrictions that have prevented the completion of your call.” Elizondo could not be immediately reached through other numbers or social media.