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Temple Mayor Pro Tem refuses to resign


The controversy surrounding Mayor Pro Tem Judy Morales and the Temple City Council took another turn Monday after she declined to resign from office.

Morales refused to step down despite the mayor and the rest of the council members publicly calling for her to do so. She had promised to resign if charges were filed against her, but she reneged on that pledge Monday, claiming it would leave her district without representation.

Temple Mayor Danny Dunn says this drama is affecting the city.

"This situation has made it increasingly difficult for us to do everyday day-to-day business," says Dunn. 

He says that Morales' legal troubles are enough to remove her for "good cause." The term "good cause" isn't defined in the city charter, so the four remaining council members will have to agree on a definition by Thursday's Public Hearing.

But Morales says she's not going anywhere just yet. She says 500 signatures were collected over the weekend by her proponents as she pleaded her case to stay.

"I sit here because of them and because of what we need to do to move forward in our community," says Morales. "Again, this whole issue is not finalized. Once it's finalized then that's when I can make a final decision."

District two residents and Morales supporter, Doris Easter, says she will stand by Morales no matter what because of what she's done for her district.

"She's been doing an awesome job for helping us to get things in district two [like] streets, sidewalks [and] lights. It's almost dark over there. So she's been helping to get some money for us," says Easter. 

Mayor Dunn says the council doesn't take that lightly, but says Morales' legal troubles are tearing the city apart.

"You have very strong Judy supporters and you also have folks who are not strong Judy supporters, and then you have people who support us as a council and then you have people trying to remove us," says Dunn.

He says the situation with Morales may not be the only reason some residents aren't happy with the council. He called it the "catalyst" behind the recall.

Mari Paul, the woman leading the charge in petitioning for a recall election, says that's not the case.

"I don't think as citizens we're as offended as we should be. They tried to take advantage of us," says Paul. "They knew they messed up and then they tried to cover it up. If they remove her, then we still have four more to work on."

If the council unanimously votes to remove Morales Thursday, it would only be for the remainder of her term through May 10. Because she's filed for re-election and is running unopposed, she will automatically become an Officer-Elect after the deadline.

Her seat won't become vacant unless she formally declines, or is sworn in and then submits a letter of resignation, starting this whole process over again.

For more information on the removal process click here.

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