City Council Members Question Payments to Councilman Cooke - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

9/25/02

City Council Members Question Payments to Councilman Cooke

At least two Lubbock councilmen are questioning why Councilman Ty Cooke is receiving $3,000 a month as chairman of a political subdivision, called the West Texas Municipal Power Agency. Cooke was elected Chairman to W.T.M.P.A. in 1999. W.T.M.P.A. buys electricity and sells their service to Lubbock, Floydada, Tulia, and Brownfield. And for the past three years, the W.T.M.P.A. has been giving Cooke $3,000 a month. Cooke claims the money pays him back for running the W.T.M.P.A. Chairman office, which Cooke says is at his privately owned business.

Ty Cooke would not go on camera but he did say nothing he is doing is illegal or a conflict of interest and that every council member knew he was getting reimbursement checks. NewsChannel 11 checked with Council Members TJ Patterson and Victor Hernandez and they did not know it was going on until recently. Hernandez questions if $3,000 really does cover reimbursement costs.

"Well, it's not a question in my mind if its legal or not. I think it's a question of whether its wise or not. And I think the wise prudent thing to do is have W.T.M.P.A. get its own office, own staff, own equipment and no longer have this relationship with Ty Cooke," said Victor Hernandez, City Councilman.

City owned Lubbock Power and Light owns about 85% W.T.M.P.A.

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