District 5 metropolis Rep. Isabel Salcido used the police chief’s photograph on a latest marketing campaign mailer — unbeknownst to him and in doable violation of the Texas Election Code.
Residents within the far Eastside district acquired the mailer days earlier than an Oct. 24 public security city corridor that Salcido deliberate with neighboring District 6 metropolis Rep. Claudia Rodriguez, during which El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen had been scheduled to talk. Each representatives are up for reelection on Nov. 8.
Salcido’s mailer featured a photograph of Allen in uniform. The Texas Election Code prohibits elected officers from utilizing public funds for political promoting, which — beneath sure circumstances — features a police officer showing in metropolis uniform in marketing campaign advertisers or on political mailers.
“Whether or not a violation occurred is fact-dependent,” J.R. Johnson, government director of the Texas Ethics Fee, wrote in an e mail Friday. The fee is tasked with administering and implementing the state’s election legislation; it doesn’t touch upon particular allegations, Johnson mentioned.
Typically, Johnson wrote, authorities officers can not “misdirect publicly-owned sources beneath their management in direction of the creation of distribution of political promoting.”
Salcido abruptly canceled the city corridor minutes earlier than it was scheduled to start. She instructed the group of about 5 those who Allen had an undisclosed emergency and wouldn’t be capable of make it.
Instagram and Fb posts shared by Salcido and Rodriguez touted the occasion as an “Higher East Facet Townhall” centered on public security.
Salcido’s mailer mirrored the social media invitation, however included a brand that learn “Re-elect Salcido for Metropolis Consultant District 5” together with voting dates and her marketing campaign web site and get in touch with data. A small disclaimer famous that it was a “Pol Adv. paid for by Isabel Salcido Marketing campaign.”
Public data officers with town and the police division haven’t supplied remark about why Allen canceled his look, whether or not he was conscious that Salcido used his photograph on her marketing campaign mailer, and whether or not town lawyer has addressed the problem with both Allen or town representatives.
Salcido didn’t make herself out there for a telephone interview, however in a textual content message change, she mentioned that Allen had not given her permission to make use of his photograph and that he was not conscious of the mailer till after it was despatched.
“This occasion was not political and no public funds had been ever used to profit my marketing campaign,” Salcido mentioned in a textual content response. “I needed to extend participation so I included it in my public security mailer that was paid for by my marketing campaign. Chief Allen was not conscious of this. The objective was to get my constituents to share their considerations with the chief.”
Rodriguez didn’t reply to a request for a telephone interview, however in a textual content message mentioned she was not made conscious of the mailer till after it was despatched to District 5 residents.
Rodriguez might have violated the marketing campaign finance portion of the Texas Election Code in her personal bid for reelection.
Had Allen attended the city corridor, he might have unknowingly violated the Texas Native Authorities Code, because it prohibits police and fireplace division workers from showing in uniform or on responsibility for political exercise on behalf of a candidate.
Allen confronted criticism two years in the past when he appeared in uniform at a July 2020 El Paso County Republican Social gathering occasion that welcomed then-new state occasion Chairman Allen West. Metropolis officers on the time mentioned that Allen’s look was acceptable and was not political as a result of legislation enforcement had been invited to share their considerations with a state official. West, nonetheless, was not a state official.
Richard Genera, one among two challengers for Salcido’s seat representing the world east of Loop 375, issued a press launch Thursday stating that he had reported the mailer to the Texas Ethics Fee as a possible Native Authorities Code violation. El Paso Issues didn’t receive a replica of his grievance.
The ethics fee dismissed the grievance on Friday as a result of it doesn’t have jurisdiction over the part of the code cited within the grievance, in accordance with a letter Salcido shared with El Paso Issues.
The dismissal doesn’t prohibit Genera or any Texas resident from submitting a brand new or revised grievance about doable violations the fee does oversee.
“As required by legislation, our investigations are performed confidentially, and whether or not a violation has occurred is set by our bipartisan panel of eight commissioners,” Johnson wrote.