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Former mayor drops lawsuit against Mission over controversial energy savings contract

Former Mayor Norberto “Beto” Salinas, who sued the city of Mission over a controversial energy savings contract, dropped his lawsuit Friday.

Beto Salinas claimed the $17 million contract with Performance Services Inc. created an illegal debt — and he doubled down in January, when documents filed in federal court linked the company to a bribery investigation.

State District Judge Noe Gonzalez signed a temporary injunction against the city, but he required Beto Salinas to post a $75,000 bond. Performance Services Inc., meanwhile, appealed the decision.

“We don’t want to go through the process of appealing this,” said attorney Rick Salinas of Mission, who represents his father. “Because we know what happened the last time we went to the 13th Court of Appeals.”

Mission Mayor Armando “Doc” O’caña declined to comment. Attorneys for the city and Performance Services Inc. didn’t respond to requests for comment Friday afternoon.

Rick Salinas also cautioned his father against posting the $75,000 bond. The litigation could last years, Rick Salinas said, and cost thousands in legal fees.

With the mayoral election just months away, they decided to drop the lawsuit and take the case directly to voters.

Beto Salinas signed up to run against O’caña and promised to cancel the contract with Performance Services Inc. if he won. City Councilwoman Norie Gonzalez Garza also filed to run against O’caña.

“Whether it’s Mayor Salinas or Mrs. Garza, both of those individuals have made it clear: The contract is getting canceled,” Rick Salinas said.

Mission, however, may cancel the Performance Services Inc. contract before the mayoral election.

During a meeting on Wednesday, the City Council voted to seek the mutual termination of the contract, said City Attorney Gus Martinez. Mission hired San Antonio-based law firm Schulman, Lopez, Hoffer & Adelstein to handle the termination.

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