San Benito to keep city attorney

SAN BENITO — The city is keeping longtime City Attorney Ricardo Morado — at least for now.

The City Commission has postponed action on a request to seek qualifications for a city attorney who could replace Morado, Mayor Ben Gomez said yesterday.

Commissioner Esteban Rodriguez had requested commissioners consider looking for a new attorney.

But Gomez, who took office in May, said he has not served on the commission long enough to determine whether commissioners should consider looking for a new attorney.

“I’m new to the city,” Gomez said. “I don’t know much about (Morado). I want to see how he’s working. I’m not going to get rid of someone just because someone doesn’t want him. I’m not going to make a drastic decision. It’s not fair to the man and it’s not fair to the community.”

Gomez said he has been satisfied with Morado’s job performance.

“From what I’ve seen he’s done a good job,” Gomez said.

Last month, Rodriguez said he believed it was time to consider hiring a new attorney.

Rodriguez said it was “time we take a different direction,” adding, “I’m not saying anyone did anything wrong.”

Morado, an attorney with the Brownsville firm of Roerig, Oliveira and Fisher, has served as city attorney since mid 2011, charging an hourly rate of $175.

Morado, who served as mayor from 1998 to 2002, previously served as city attorney from 1995 to 1997.

A San Benito native, Morado was former President Bill Clinton’s nominee to replace U.S. District Judge Filemon Vela in 2000. But the nomination expired when Clinton left office in January 2001.

Ricardo Morado

* Attorney with Roerig, Oliveira and Fisher, Brownsville

* City attorney from 2011 to present and from 1995 to 1997

* Served as mayor from 1998 to 2002

* Former President Bill Clinton’s nominee for U.S. district judge