A commission of Kyle residents earlier this month decided not to further investigate any alleged ethics violations against Kyle City Councilmember Daphne Tenorio.
The ruling was made after the city’s ethics commission members said they had no jurisdiction to issue an advisory opinion on the matter.
Concerns of possible ethics violations were first made public at the Feb. 21 city council meeting. During that meeting, city officials unveiled the project “Just Peachy,” a sports complex developed in partnership with sports teams, including the Kyle Stallions basketball team, an American Basketball Association (ABA) franchise.
The Hays Free Press reported in a Feb. 15 article that Tenorio purchased the Kyle Stallions.
However, Tenorio said at the ethics commission meeting that she is not owner of the team nor is she in the process of becoming the owner. According to a February letter from Tenorio’s attorney, the purchase had not been finalized.
At the Feb. 21 city council meeting, City Attorney Frank Garza advised city council not to discuss possible ethics violations as Tenorio had petitioned for a declaratory ruling and advisory opinion from the ethics review board.
On March 23, ethics commission members approved an ordinance stating their stance.
Tenorio had already received an advisory opinion from Garza, but has not made the document public at this time.
Commission members were tasked with determining whether statements published in a blog run by Kyle resident Pete Oppel were allegations that could be investigated.
At the 2 ½-hour meeting, commission members reviewed each of the statements submitted by Tenorio and concluded most were not allegations.
Because most of the statements published on Oppel’s blog were phrased like questions, the commission members decided they were not allegations and therefore couldn’t be investigated.
The commission members did determine one statement alleged Tenorio had violated the section 39.06 of Texas Penal Code.
Oppel states in a blog post that he insisted “some form of independent investigation be launched” and quoted section 39.06 of the Texas Penal Code.
The Texas Penal Code states a public servant commits a felony “if, in reliance on information to which the public servant has access by virtue of the person’s office or employment and that has not been made public, the person acquires or aids another to acquire a pecuniary interest in any property, transaction, or enterprise that may be affected by the information.”
However, because the commission only had jurisdiction over the Texas local government code and the city’s ethics code, it could not investigate the allegation.
Tenorio said she submitted the allegation to the district attorney’s office.
After reviewing all 14 published statements and deciding not to investigate any, the ethics commission did not schedule a future meeting.