Leon Valley council member voted out for interfering with city operations

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A Leon Valley City Council member who was booted off the council amid sexual harassment complaints said he plans to sue over the fracas, the San Antonio Express-News reported.

Benny Martinez, who had served on council for five years, was voted out 2-1 on Wednesday after the council found that he had violated the city charter by interfering in city operations, which included giving orders to staff. Council member Catherine Rodriguez abstained from the vote because she has filed a sexual harassment complaint against Martinez.

At the Wednesday meeting, Martinez said he only made suggestions to city employees. However, council member Monica Alcocer brought up an email exchange between Martinez and City Attorney Denise Frederick in which he asked Frederick to research something then disagreed with her answer, the newspaper reported. 

Frederick was one of seven city employees or officials of the town near San Antonio who filed formal complaints against Martinez. The attorney said his “dehumanizing” behavior created a hostile work environment, the Express-News reported. 

Martinez admitted to carrying a pistol into City Hall, but denied allegations that he carried it during council meetings.

The council will meet next week to discuss whether Martinez’s seat will be filled by council appointment or through special election. His term is set to expire in May 2020.

Martinez told the Express-News he was unsure if he would attempt to get his seat back.

“I’m glad it’s over,” he said.

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