TWC ruled in former interim city manager's favor, attorney says

Christopher Maher, Alice Echo-News Journal

The Alice City Council is scheduled to discuss options concerning the unemployment benefits of former interim-City Manager Ruben Maldonado tonight, following a hearing with the Texas Workforce Commission.

Tonight's city council agenda includes an item to "consider and act upon options pertaining to Jesus Ruben Maldonado's actions and subsequent termination, including, but not limited to, submitting an appeal on Texas Workforce Commission decision on his unemployment benefits."

Contacted Tuesday, Maldonado said he was unaware that he was on the agenda, and referred all questions to his attorney.

Nathan Burkett, Maldonado's attorney, said Tuesday the TWC had held a joint hearing over several days with Maldonado and representatives from the city to discuss the manner in which Maldonado was terminated from the city.

Burkett said the result of that hearing was a ruling by the TWC that the city should be required to pay unemployment benefits, because Maldonado had not been fired for cause.

Maldonado served as human resources manager for the city from 2004 to July 2007, and served as interim-city manager from February 2007 to July 2007.

In July, he was fired by newly hired city manager Albert Uresti, who alleged Maldonado had attempted to defraud the city by giving himself an unauthorized salary increase.

Maldonado has denied any wrongdoing.

Tonight's meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. in the Alice City Council Chambers of the City Hall and is open to the public.