Jasso to keep seat on Edinburg council — for now

EDINBURG — Homer Jasso Jr. will remain on the city council until further notice after a state district judge extended a temporary injunction Tuesday morning, prohibiting the city from removing him from office.

Jasso’s attorney, David Flores, filed a third amended petition Monday, setting off a new round of legal proceedings the day before the case went before state District Judge Mario E. Ramirez for an initial hearing.

In Jasso’s amended petition, Flores argued the city already investigated the matter and came to the conclusion last year that Jasso had not willfully violated the city charter. At the time, the council was under the direction of former Edinburg Mayor Richard Garcia and they only discussed the possibility of an inquiry, but didn’t formally launch one.

“We argued since they already had the same inquiry, they were stopped from res judicata,” Flores said, citing the idea that a matter that has already been adjudicated by a competent court may not be pursued further by the same parties.

Last month, the city’s new administration reopened the issue and conducted an inquiry that resulted in the council finding Jasso guilty of violating the city charter. The council members, however, could not remove Jasso from his post because Jasso successfully petitioned Ramirez for a temporary injunction.

“It has already been heard before,” Flores argued Tuesday. “You’re not allowed to take a second bite of the apple because there’s a new council.”

City Attorney Rick Gonzalez could not be reached for comment Tuesday before deadline.

The judge ultimately gave Jasso’s attorney 10 days to respond to the city’s brief, and then the city will have another seven days to respond to Jasso, ensuring a delayed resolution in the case.

nlopez@themonitor.com