You’ve read that Steve Ortega has moved to quash his deposition, and the attempt to sift his emails relating to city business. El Diario reported it Saturday, and the Times got around to it on the following Wednesday. He says he understands that these days, he’d have to give them up. But back then the law did not specifically include communications made from a city officials’ private email accounts.
I think I’ve got the gist of his argument there, more or less.
I’m not sure what it means, but I can tell you what it doesn’t look like.
It doesn’t look like an innocent man.
I could be wrong. Maybe he is a late-blooming constitutionalist. Or maybe he’s just trying to show his lawyer chops. He went into politics pretty much as soon as he passed the bar, so he doesn’t have a lot of courtroom experience.
Or maybe he’s just a lawyer, in the worst sense of the word, arguing for arguing’s sake.
Unfortunately for El Paso, all this does is prolong the drama. This will likely still be playing out next April, after the Sun Dogs have taken the field at the new ballpark.
For Mr. Ortega, there is no upside. If he wins his case, and, in the end, doesn’t surrender his emails, he retains the taint of shady dealings. If he loses, and the emails reveal no malfeasance, he’s perceived as inept at his chosen field. And if he loses and the emails show some shenanigans, well, then, he’ll be judged by that.
The Texas Supreme Court will likely decide a similar case before Mr. Ortega’s petition reaches it. But even if he does, the City will still be under the cloud of suspicion. There’s no upside for El Paso. With all the well-publicized corruption in local government, fighting to keep secrets doesn’t improve the