by Max Grossman
August 3 at 9:34pm, City Reps. Kennedy, Annello, Molinar and Fierro—who all happen to serve on the Financial Oversight and Audit Committee—received a mysterious email from John Simpson, a resident of Durango, Colorado.
Simpson wanted to know how Tommy Gonzalez was able to work for the cities of El Paso and Durango simultaneously! He also wanted to know why so many people recently quit his City’s finance office and whether Gonzalez had anything to do with that.
Simpson explained how Gonzalez’s “old friend” from Irving, Jose Madrigal, now the City Manager of Durango, hired him as a consultant starting March 6, one week after he was fired by our City Council, but nearly four months before his last day of work, June 29.
Simpson attached three documents to his email:
1. A purchase order, due March 31, to pay Gonzalez $8,750 for his work in March “Consulting with the Finance Staff as we transition with the retirement of the Finance Director.”
2. A contract between the City of Durango and Gonzalez, hiring Gonzalez from March 6 through June 30 and setting set his pay at $8,750 per month.
3. A Hire/Personnel Action Form from the City of Durango hiring Gonzalez for the position of Chief Financial Officer starting June 30, at a salary of $176,284. Evidently he began to work as CFO for Durango before switching to his current position in Midland, Texas.
Section II.2.5 of Gonzalez’s contract with the City of El Paso, which was negotiated by real geniuses back in 2014, permits him to work as an outside consultant for other cities “after providing written notice to the Mayor and City Council and review and response by the City Attorney.”
Did Gonzalez provide the required written notice?
We do not know. Nobody else seems to know either.
But I bet City Attorney Karla Nieman knows . . . .
I did confirm that Gonzalez worked as “Interim” head of Financial Services for the City of Durango on an organizational chart dated July 3, so Simpson’s email and the three attachments appear to be legitimate.
Did Gonzalez consult for other cities in addition to Durango during his employment in El Paso?
Why was $424,595 per year plus generous benefits not enough for him?