San Marcos City Council member responds to ethics complaint over Tweet

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Ethics review commissioners move complaint forward, plan a public hearing

SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) — A San Marcos City Council member is facing a public hearing over an ethics complaint filed against her.

It’s related to a Tweet Jocabed Marquez posted in November.

“I went to Joca Marquez’s Twitter feed and that was the first Tweet that I saw,” says Phil Hutchinson regarding the following post:

Phil Hutchinson screenshotted this tweet in November. (City of San Marcos)

“The more I thought about it, the more I realized, yeah, she was out of line; it was not appropriate and she, in my mind, expressed real, genuine bias,” Hutchinson says.

He filed a formal complaint against Marquez last month.

Hutchinson works in commercial real estate.

“I bring projects in front of city councils and planning and zoning commissions all around the south and you’d like to know that you’re getting treated fairly,” says Hutchinson, who is also a former member of San Marcos’ planning and zoning commission.

Last night, the city’s ethics review commission decided to move forward with the complaint by scheduling a public hearing.

No date has been set yet.

Jocabed Marquez (Courtesy: City of San Marcos)

Marquez has since taken down the Tweet out of safety concerns but stands by what she said.

“Our town being overtaken by developers, our town being gentrified, our people of color being displaced. Just a lot of things that added up to that moment,” she says.

Shortly after her tweet, Marquez was among four members who voted against an affordable housing project.

“I said no to this project for several reasons, not because of my bias but because of things like, the proposed project didn’t have any sidewalks or ADA accommodations,” Marquez explains.

Marquez says her vote is also informed by her past experiences; she lived in affordable housing and says she felt taken advantage of by developers.

“I understand to a very deep level the plight of the working class, the plight of the types of people that actually live in these types of apartments,” Marquez says.

Hutchinson isn’t buying it. Ultimately, he wants Marquez off the council.

“I don’t think her vote’s going to be trusted from here on out and I think Joca should step down,” Hutchinson says.

Marquez says that’s not going to happen.

“I don’t think it’s a wise use of our time and our staff resources,” Marquez says of the investigation into her tweet.

“I think if we invested our time better our community would be a lot better.”

She says after the hearing, the commission can recommend whether council should remove her from her seat.

Then, the mayor can decide whether to call a vote on the matter.

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