Galena Park city commissioners vote to limit mayor's power

By Joel Eisenbaum - Investigative Reporter

GALENA PARK, Texas - In what appears to be a vote of no confidence, Galena Park city commissioners have voted to limit the power of the newly elected mayor, and undo her house cleaning from last week.

Newly installed Mayor Esmeralda Moya made it her first order of business to fire the City Administrator, Robert Pruett. She also fired City Attorney Jim DeFoyd and demoted police chief Jonathan Rader to sergeant.

But Monday, during a contentious city commissioners meeting, attended by a Harris County sheriff's officer to keep the peace, city commissioners voted to reverse the firings and demotion.

The mayor did not attend a brief executive session about the matter.

"I want everything to be in front of the public, it should be done in the open," Moya said.

But Moya's support among the commissioners was clearly absent, even though a vocal citizenry attended the meeting on her behalf.

In a debilitating move, the city commissioners voted to require the mayor's expenditures be reviewed and approved by the mayor pro-tem.

"I do not regret what I did last week. This is a setback, but I am trying to what is right for the people of Galena Park," Moya said.

Moya contends that Monday's meeting was illegal because of several incorrect procedures by city commissioners. Monday night, Moya said she was considering her next step.

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