Olton residents react to city manager placed on paid leave - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Olton residents react to city manager placed on paid leave

Source: KCBD Source: KCBD

Sixty days of paid administrative leave. That's the employment status for Olton city manager Marvin Tillman -- one week after his arrest by Texas Rangers.

Tillman is accused of stealing from the city he works for, as well as impersonating an officer.

The decision to place Tillman on leave came during a special city council meeting early Friday afternoon. However, residents KCBD spoke with say Friday's decision is too little, too late. 

The concern stems from the fact that Tillman will be paid during his leave with tax-payer dollars.

"I think that this is unfair and they did not take the right precautions to protect the city of Olton," Olton resident, Ami Sandoval-Rios, said. 

Today's decision is one that shows preferential treatment, she said.

"I think that if it was a regular citizen, anybody else that would have done this, they would have been held accountable for their actions - and that's not what's being done," Sandoval-Rios, she said. 

A statement Olton resident Juan Esquivel agrees with whole-heartedly.

"Yes, Marvin has done a lot of good things for the city. But, why are we backing him up?" Esquival said. "So, we're saying it's OK to steal? it's OK to do, you know, the wrong things? Is that what we're gonna teach our kids?"

Sandoval-Rios said she feels things would be different had he not been placed on paid leave, because to her paid leave only means one thing.

"Our people of Olton will be paying for him to go on 'vacation'," she said.

For Esquivel he said it all comes down to one thing.

"They know and we all know that he's done wrong."

During today's meeting, the council announced mayor Mark McFadden will serve as a sort of "CEO" in Tillman's absence.  

However, Sandoval-Rios said there's only one thing left to do.

"We as a community need to stand up together and figure out how our voices can be heard, because at this point, our voices don't matter," Sandoval-Rios said. "These are serious charges, they're felony charges....that should have been taken more into consideration and I don't believe it was."

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