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Mission city attorney resigns

This article has been updated to include comments from the former city attorney.

The Mission City Council accepted City Attorney Victor Flores’ resignation Monday.

Council unanimously approved Flores’ resignation, which was effective that night. He served as city attorney for a little over a year.

Victor Flores; City of Mission courtesy photo.

Both Flores and the city describe the parting of ways as amicable.

Mayor Norie Gonzalez, who spoke to Flores last week about his possible resignation, characterized his reason for resigning as personal rather than professional.

“I think it was a personal decision — his family and what’s best for them,” she said after Monday’s meeting. “And I totally can understand, and everyone needs to do what’s best for themselves and their family.”

Flores declined Tuesday to elaborate on his conversation with council in executive session, though he described a reason for quitting as the job’s demand on his personal time.

Other cities have teams of lawyers, Flores says. At Mission, it’s just him.

“The time of the job was demanding too much from my family time than I was comfortable with,” he said. “In each city, I’ve had a team of attorneys, and here I was the only attorney. So I was covering city council meetings twice a month, planning and zoning meetings, zoning board of adjustment meetings, building board of adjustment meetings — when we had the charter meetings going on I had charter meetings, and then on top of that all the public information requests…That’s where the personal and the professional kind of met up.”

Financial liquidity issues from 2023 have been a significant issue for the council since December. Flores said those issues weren’t why he resigned.

Flores described the choice to make the resignation effective Monday was council’s decision, which he didn’t criticize.

In 2022, when former city attorney Gus Martinez resigned, the city agreed to pay him a six months severance package — $74,000.

Flores says he’s not getting a dime.

“I’m taking zero dollars,” he said.

Despite the resignation, both Flores and the city heaped praise on each other.

“I’m very appreciative of the time he spent here with the city of Mission,” Garza said. “He did bring some great things to our legal department, he made some adjustments and I think he has a great staff that he put together as well. So I look forward to seeing him expand on his career — he’s gonna do great things in the State of Texas.”

According to Garza, the council will have a meeting Friday to weigh its legal needs and what to do about Flores’ position.

Garza said until he’s replaced, the city will rely on counsel it already works with. She singled out Weslaco law firm Jones, Galligan, Key & Lozano.

“Bob Galligan’s been a staple here in the city of Mission for many, many years, even back when Mayor Salinas was here,” Garza said. “So we’d probably just use them on an hourly basis, like we’ve been using until we find a replacement — either one attorney that would be our city attorney housed in-house or a firm.”

What’s next for Flores? He’s not sure yet, but he’s not worried.

“This just occurred,” he said. “Obviously I’ll land on my feet, and I do have a couple of things I’m considering. But I’m gonna take the next couple days and just hang out with my family before I make any decisions.”

 

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