Christopher Maher

Alice Echo-News Journal

The animal control officer for the City of San Diego was fired by the city council Wednesday, following a police report in which he is alleged to have used a city credit card to purchase gas for his personal vehicle.

The council voted unanimously to terminate the employment of Animal Control Officer Edmon Hawkes following a discussion in closed, executive session Wednesday.

According to a March 17 report from the Alice Police Department, an officer with the San Diego Police Department was notified by a convenience store manager that Hawkes had been observed using a city credit card to pay for gas for his personal vehicle.

Alice police officers and an investigator with the San Diego Police Department reportedly reviewed a surveillance tape of the gas station that confirmed the manager’s statements.

Mayor Alonzo Lopez Jr. declined to acknowledge the reason for Hawkes’ termination following the meeting, saying it was a “personnel matter.”

When asked about the issue Wednesday, San Diego City Attorney Abelardo Garza said any information needed could be found in the Alice police report.

In a related matter, the council voted unanimously to hire Marcos Garcia as the city’s new animal control officer.

In other personnel issues, the council voted to place Municipal Judge Juan F. Garcia on full-time status with the city with a supervisor salary.

Garcia was hired by the city on a part-time basis in August of last year.

In other business, the council approved a contract for election services with the Duval County Elections Administrator for the May 10 bond election.

Under the terms of the contract, the city will be permitted to use the county’s voting machines for the election.

The council also voted unanimously to transfer a right of way to resident Santos Luera.

City officials said Wednesday the right of way had been sold to Luera in April 1991, but the paperwork transferring the property had never been filed.

The council also voted to maintain the city’s contract with the current providers after receiving no bids for fuel service after a recent request for bids.