Commissioners court takes no action on determining fate of EMS coordinator
by Coy Slavik, Advance-Guard Editor
Apr 10, 2014 | 718 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Goliad County EMS Coordinator Peggy Fonseca talks with members of the audience during Thursday's special county commissioners court meeting.
Goliad County EMS Coordinator Peggy Fonseca talks with members of the audience during Thursday's special county commissioners court meeting.
GOLIAD – The Goliad County Commissioners Court went into executive session for over three hours Thursday and came back with no decision on the fate of EMS Coordinator Peggy Fonseca.

The meeting did, however, include a heated exchange between County Judge David Bowman and County Attorney Rob Baiamonte as Bowman and the four county commissioners went into executive session.

Bowman and the four county commissioners will continue their executive session at 10:30 a.m. Monday after the regular session of commissioners court.

The special meeting was called after Drs. Mark Heard and Claire Zengerle, who serve as Goliad County Medical Directors, wrote a letter to Baiamonte stating they had "recently been made aware of numerous discrepancies and inconsistencies with the protocols that are used on each one of the ambulances."

Heard and Zengerle stated in the letter that they would no longer be able to serve as medical directors "as long as (Fonseca) remains as the EMS administrator."

Bowman immediately called the 1 p.m. meeting, which was moved to the upstairs courthouse courtroom to facilitate an overflow audience, into executive session and stated that the county had acquired the legal counsel from Texas Association of Counties attorney Myra Morris. He then instructed Baiamonte not to attend the meeting.

Bowman and Baiamonte exchanged words as Bowman and the county commissioners made their way to the jury room for the closed meeting.

"You sit down," Bowman told Baiamonte. "We'll come back if we need you."

Baiamonte was surprised by his exclusion from the executive meeting.

"I guess there's a perception by some members of the court that there's some sort of collusion going on," Baiamonte said after the special meeting.

Bowman said that was not the case.

"Our county attorney doesn't represent us in issues like this and never has," Bowman said. "If there are any issues that come out of this, TAC provides legal representation and that's why I requested TAC legal representation here today."

Ted Long, County Commissioner of Precinct 4, disagreed with Baiamonte's exclusion from the meeting.

"I felt like and I still feel like our county attorney should have been involved and should have been in there," Long said. "I can't imagine if someone wanted to do the right thing why they wouldn't want the county attorney there."

Long said he did not sense any bias on Baiamonte's part.

"I feel like David's not unbiased," Long said.

Bowman, who distributed letters from several medical officials supporting Fonseca to members of the audience before the meeting, said the decision to exclude Baiamonte from the executive session did not require approval from the county commissioners.

"They can invite him in," Bowman said. "But it was, in my opinion, not needed. We had legal representation there to guide us and it was adequate."

"I did request him to be in the meeting and I objected when we were at the table before we went up," Long said. "Then David got ugly with me."

Zengerle and Heard were called into the executive session, but Fonseca was not. Bowman said he hopes Fonseca will be called to speak during Monday's executive session.

"We're going to be very thorough and take as long as we need to gather all the facts," Bowman said.
Comments-icon Post a Comment
No Comments Yet