Former Edinburg city secretary returns to her post

EDINBURG — A familiar face is returning to the city.

Former city secretary Myra Ayala will return to her post after being away for almost two years.

Ayala resigned her duties as city secretary February 2018 to work for the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation as director of business operations and marketing.

Her employment there only lasted about six months, and in March 2019, Ayala went on to work as Weslaco city secretary, a position that paid about $70,000 a year.

On Wednesday, the Edinburg council interviewed five candidates for the vacant post and unanimously chose Ayala as the sole finalist. She will earn about $90,000 per year.

Ayala replaces former city secretary Ludivina Leal, who replaced Ayala when she left to work for the city’s economic development arm.

The council fired Leal shortly after Mayor Richard Molina lost control of the majority as a result of the November 2019 municipal election.

Her dismissal was one of the first actions the council took after Councilman David White won the election. Leal became a target of criticism after she was arrested on an illegal voting charge as part of an investigation into the mayor’s alleged voter fraud scheme.

Ayala’s return marks the second time the council hires someone to which they previously said goodbye. Shortly after the November 2019 municipal election, the council also rehired former municipal court clerk Maribel Velasquez. Velasquez was fired shortly after the November 2017 municipal election brought Molina into power.

At the time, Velasquez claimed she had been targeted by the mayor and his three allies on the council for supporting other politicians. She went as far as filing a lawsuit against the councilmen and the city. It’s unclear what happened with the legal dispute. The case could not be found in federal court records Thursday.