Fighting Words: Lawyer calls for sanctions against Hinojosa, Port Isabel

Lawyer calls for sanctions against Hinojosa, Port Isabel

City attorney responds: “He’s an embarrassment”

Port Isabel-South Padre Press

The legal battle between the City of Port Isabel and a former employee has become more heated in recent weeks.

Danny Goldberg, a Houston attorney representing former Port Isabel City Manager Ed Meza, has filed a motion to sanction the City and its attorney, Gilbert Hinojosa alleging, among other things, misconduct and filing a frivolous lawsuit.

Meza sued the City in 2017 after it terminated him in the spring of 2015. He alleges the City owes him a severance package equal to one year’s salary, as agreed to by the City Commission in 2010.*

But the City has refused to pay up, with City attorney Gilbert Hinojosa arguing that the severance agreement is an unenforceable contract. Hinojosa filed a counterclaim against Meza, alleging breach of fiduciary duty and implicating Meza in a host of allegations of misconduct.

The parties were ordered to attempt mediation at the beginning of this year, but those efforts failed, Goldberg said.

In his 15-page motion, filed with the 444th State District court on June 15, Goldberg cites 18 different exhibits to support his call for sanctions, saying the City filed a “sham document” to support its claims against Meza. He also said the City didn’t even have any evidence at the time the City filed its counterclaim.

*Correction: According to court documents, the severance agreement in question was signed by Mayor Joe E. Vega in July 2010, not 2008. The PRESS regrets the error.

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1 comment

    • Manuel De La Rosa on July 13, 2018 at 6:59 pm
    • Reply

    Ed Meza was really in over his head as City Manager and was political puppet. Once his majority lost control on the Commission, he lost his job. I was once doing a story on the city and it’s favoritism in its selecting of vendors. I put a Freeedom of Information Act Request to get Minutes from previous Commission meetings. He charged me to have his staff work on getting copies and making the copies because he knew what I was going to find out. Other cities would never charged the media and provide the info no questions asked. Meza just smirked and told me he could do that. Not only did he charge me, he then charged a higher price than normal. Just unbelievable. The staff was going to be working and it’s not like they worked overtime to get it done. The request was a legitimate one. The investigation I started led to a grand jury investigation later by the Cameron County DA’s Office. I certainly hope the city does not lose this case because he was an incompetent city manager.

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