Ex Lubbock leader, now in Irving, accused of suppressing records - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Former Lubbock leader, now in Irving, accused of suppressing open records

IRVING, TX (KCBD) -

KCBD NewsChannel 11 has independently confirmed a report that Lubbock's former Assistant City Manager Tommy Gonzalez is accused of suppressing public records in his current job as Irving City Manager. Gonzalez was also Lubbock's interim City Manager before moving on to another job in 2003.

Last week the Dallas Morning News reported that Gonzalez was called a "petty tyrant" in a lawsuit by the Las Colinas Group, which is the former developer of a major entertainment district in Irving.

Now, KCBD NewsChannel 11 has obtained a copy of Las Colinas' complaint. It mentions prominent Lubbock residents Marc and Delbert McDougal. Marc was Mayor when Gonzalez held upper management roles with the City of Lubbock. And Delbert was the developer of a major project recently in Irving called Heritage Crossing.

The lawsuit says, "During the development process, City Manager Gonzalez pressured, solicited and received from Mr. [Delbert] McDougal free hotel suites and tickets to Texas Tech football games for his family..." Las Colinas is trying to make the case that Gonzalez used undue influence not only with McDougal and Las Colinas but also on others doing business with Irving.

"There is no basis for mentioning us in the lawsuit," said Marc McDougal.  "Tommy Gonzalez has never sat with us at a football game or even used our tickets.  We did get Tommy a [hotel] room [at the Overton] but he paid for it."

At the same time, a former Irving employee has come forward with an affidavit claiming that she left her job under duress because Gonzalez disapproved of her obeying the Texas Open Records Act. Brenda McDonald filed the affidavit as part of the Las Colinas lawsuit.

She claims that after the collapse of the Dallas Cowboys practice facility in May of 2009, an incident that injured 12 people, the Dallas Morning News made an open records request for Irving officials' Blackberry PIN messages. McDonald says that Gonzalez told employees repeatedly that they didn't have to turn over what they didn't have and "the clear implication was to encourage us to delete our PINs."

But McDonald was one of two employees who did turn over the messages, according to her affidavit. She quotes Gonzalez as telling her multiple times that it was a lapse in judgment for her to turn over her PIN messages.

Las Colinas is asking a judge to order City of Irving to not destroy or falsify any records. Meanwhile, the Dallas Morning News says it reached Gonzalez via email who said, "It would be unprofessional to respond to a personnel matter."

The City of Irving has not yet responded with its side of the story in court records.

Copyright 2012 KCBD. All rights reserved.

  • Local News on KCBD.comNewsMore>>

  • Saudi women in driver's seat as longstanding ban is lifted

    Saudi women in driver's seat as longstanding ban is lifted

    Sunday, June 24 2018 4:24 AM EDT2018-06-24 08:24:57 GMT
    Sunday, June 24 2018 4:37 PM EDT2018-06-24 20:37:37 GMT
    (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty). Hessah al-Ajaji drivers her car down the capital's busy Tahlia Street after midnight for the first time in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Sunday, June 24, 2018. Saudi women are in the driver's seat for the first time in their countr...(AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty). Hessah al-Ajaji drivers her car down the capital's busy Tahlia Street after midnight for the first time in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Sunday, June 24, 2018. Saudi women are in the driver's seat for the first time in their countr...

    Saudi women steered their way through busy streets for the first time just minutes after the world's last remaining ban on women driving was lifted.

    Saudi women steered their way through busy streets for the first time just minutes after the world's last remaining ban on women driving was lifted.

  • 'Game of Thrones' co-stars Kit Harington, Rose Leslie wed

    'Game of Thrones' co-stars Kit Harington, Rose Leslie wed

    Saturday, June 23 2018 10:05 AM EDT2018-06-23 14:05:01 GMT
    Sunday, June 24 2018 4:26 PM EDT2018-06-24 20:26:05 GMT
    Former "Game of Thrones" co-stars Kit Harington and Rose Leslie are marrying at the bride's family castle in Scotland. (Source: AP Photos)Former "Game of Thrones" co-stars Kit Harington and Rose Leslie are marrying at the bride's family castle in Scotland. (Source: AP Photos)

    Former "Game of Thrones" co-stars Kit Harington and Rose Leslie are marrying at the bride's family castle in Scotland.

    Former "Game of Thrones" co-stars Kit Harington and Rose Leslie are marrying at the bride's family castle in Scotland.

  • New billboard in Amarillo says 'Texas is for everyone'

    New billboard in Amarillo says "Texas is for everyone"

    Sunday, June 24 2018 4:25 PM EDT2018-06-24 20:25:59 GMT
    The billboard is located at the intersection of Coulter and I-40/Source: Tessa JohnsonThe billboard is located at the intersection of Coulter and I-40/Source: Tessa Johnson

    After a controversial billboard was constructed and taken down last week in Amarillo, a new billboard is singing a different tune.

    After a controversial billboard was constructed and taken down last week in Amarillo, a new billboard is singing a different tune.

Powered by Frankly