In our many years of political involvement, we have seen many classless acts of political misbehavior, but none as reprehensible and shameless as those of (Mayor Ken) Chesshir and (Mayor Pro Tem John) Fulghum in their belated attempt to bestow honor on the now deceased Judge Fred V. Garza.
Do these two political bedfellows think that this community has forgotten that they, along with Gilbert Herrera, orchestrated the firing of Judge Garza from the position of municipal court judge which he had held for 14 years? Have they forgotten that they called a special meeting of city council at an unheard of time (11:45 a.m.) under the pretense of an agenda that was purposefully written in an ambiguous manner so as to hide their intent to fire Judge Garza without public involvement? Have they forgotten that he pleaded for an opportunity to defend himself and they would not let him utter one word to save his job and his honor? Have they forgotten that Gilbert Herrera made the motion to fire Judge Garza and, as the paper described it, Fulghum quickly seconded the motion? Have they forgotten that neither Chesshir or Fulghum would even look at the judge, much less give him a reason for firing him? And now, these two political hacks have added insult to injury by pretending to honor him with a mayoral proclamation.
These are cheap politicians with an equally cheap sense of political moral values. This community should distance itself from these people and shun them the way people used to shun lepers. They are inflicted with an incurable form of political leprosy.
Judge Garza was indeed an honorable man, a man of integrity whom we were proud to have called a lifelong friend. When he was fired, he was heartbroken because he felt that the firing had tainted his family and his many years of honorable service to this community. After the firing, the judge had to live with a dark cloud over his head because of the unstated reasons for his firing. What concocted reasons could have led to his firing? The judge didn’t know.
The lesson to be learned from this is that we should elect officials who are well qualified and always have the best interest of this community in mind. Certainly not those that are as ill qualified as Chesshir and Fulghum. And most certainly not those that are more interested in satisfying their own uncontrollable personal desires such as Herrera, Chesshir and Fulghum.
Finally, we want to say that Judge Fred V. Garza does indeed deserve much praise and adulation for all of the years of service to this community. As a businessman and as a public servant, Fred was guided by his heart and a soul of utmost integrity. To this day, we miss Fred and often wonder if his life would have ended so suddenly had he not been subjected to the trials and tribulations of his unjustified firing. As we looked at the picture of his family in last week’s paper, both of us were moved to tears thinking about how much this man meant to his beautiful family and to his friends. In our own way, we honor Fred, but we do so sincerely and from the bottom of our hearts.
Alex P. Garza and Jessy P. Garza