Roma mayor barred from working for state-regulated bank

Roma Mayor Roberto A. Salinas was barred from working for a state-regulated bank by the Texas Department of Banking, according to a news release issued Monday.

Banking Commissioner Charles G. Cooper issued a “consent order prohibiting further participation” against Salinas who, until recently, was the president and CEO of Citizens State Bank in Roma.

The order specifically prohibits Salinas from serving as a director, officer, or employee of a state bank, holding company of a state bank, or any other entity chartered, registered, permitted, or licensed by the banking commissioner.

The commissioner alleged that Salinas intentionally committed or participated in violations of law or regulations, unsafe or unsound practices, and/or breaches of trust or other fiduciary duty, according to the order.

Those actions allegedly caused the bank, or will case the bank, to suffer financial loss or other damage and the interests of the bank’s depositors, creditors or shareholders could be prejudiced if they have not been already, according to the order.

The commissioner also claims Salinas could have received financial gain or other benefit through those alleged actions.

“Such actions involve personal dishonesty on the part of Salinas or demonstrate Salinas’s willful and/or continuing disregard for the safety and soundness of the bank,” the order stated.

Salinas declined to comment for this story.

The order, which went into effect March 26, also prohibits Salinas from participating in the management of a state bank — or any entity licensed by the state department of banking.

It also bars him from voting for a director of such an entity, or soliciting, transferring, voting any proxy, consent or authorization regarding voting rights in such an entity.

By agreeing to the order, Salinas did not admit or deny any violations or breaches of duty.

Additionally, he waived his right to present a defense against the allegations and his right to a hearing.

Salinas resigned from Citizens State Bank on Feb. 21, a move that was quickly followed by rumors that he may have been forced to resign.

During a meeting on March 11, the Roma City Council addressed those rumors during a discussion about possibly launching an investigation into the mayor.

Councilman Jose G. Cantu cited calls from concerned citizens as the reason for wanting to address the issue while Salinas chided him for giving credence to rumors and hearsay.

When Cantu pressed Salinas on the circumstances revolving his departure from the bank, Salinas denied being forced to retire.

Cantu also asked if Salinas could continue working with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, or FDIC, which regulates banks nationwide to which Salinas assured he could.

In the end, the council declined to launch an investigation.

The order from the banking commissioner is final and cannot be appealed.