San Luis hires attorney to investigate city manager
A local independent attorney has been retained by the city of San Luis, Ariz., to investigate allegations recently filed against City Administration Alex Ruiz.
The city hired Yuma attorney Pam Walsma on Friday because she is not connected with Alex Ruiz and is an outside, objective investigator, said the city's attorney, Jerry Hunt.
David Merkle, an attorney for the Arizona League of Cities and Towns who lives in Tempe, will be Ruiz's attorney, Hunt said.
The investigation was prompted by a complaint filed against Ruiz by San Luis Director of Human Resources Rosalicia Cordova, claiming he created a hostile work environment and abused his power, among other allegations. She filed the complaint with the city council, the Arizona Attorney General's Office and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Cordova said she could not comment about the complaint. But she added the hiring of the investigator and attorney were handled by administration, not the city council.
"My complaint was against administration," Cordova said. "But somehow administration itself is handling the investigation."
The complaint led to a special city council meeting on Monday night by Mayor Guillermina Fuentes to discuss the future employment of Ruiz.
Fifteen minutes into the call to the public, Councilman Juan Carlos Escamilla motioned to adjourn the meeting until a full investigation of Ruiz is completed. After some shouting and arguing, the council voted 4-3 to adjourn the meeting until further notice.
Ruiz said he could not comment on the complaint but said he believes he will be cleared of the accusations.