Former La Joya finance director accuses mayor, city receptionist of libel

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Former La Joya finance director Gregoria Jackson filed suit on Wednesday claiming that the city’s mayor, Jose Salinas, and receptionist, Angela Salinas, posted libelous comments about her on Facebook, the Progress Times reported.

The lawsuit does not specify the material being complained of, but the newspaper found a Facebook account for Angela Salinas (no relation to the mayor) that featured a post about Gregoria Jackson and her brother, former County Attorney Roberto Jackson, on Tuesday. Roberto Jackson is representing his sister in the lawsuit, which seeks damages of up to $1 million.

“Yes, the FBI was at City Hall, but the 10 boxes the FBI took were from the Finance Dept,” the Facebook post said. “They also took copies of the checks paid to the attorney, by his sister.” The post included the phrase “All fraud.”

The newspaper reported that FBI agents came to city hall with a warrant in August and hauled away boxes of documents, but it’s unclear what information was included. After the newspaper filed an open records request, La Joya officials told the Progress Times that FBI agents didn’t provide the city with a receipt showing what documents were taken or a copy of the search warrant.

Gregoria Jackson had already been fired when the warrant was executed. She lost her job in July when the city voted to eliminate the finance director position.

The mayor’s Facebook page has a post saying that the FBI took “checks made out to the attorney by his sister. No invoices submitted.”

He said he signed the FBI report and that “arrests are coming.”

Roberto Jackson told the Progress Times that both city officials are making “factual assertions of something [they] know to be false.”

The mayor said he didn’t know which Facebook posts the Jacksons found defamatory.

“And I know that Gregoria Jackson has put stuff out on me,” he told the newspaper. “So I don’t know where he’s coming from.”

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