Is San Benito looking for new city attorney


Staff Writer

SAN BENITO — Last year, most city commissioners stood behind City Attorney Ricardo Morado.

Now, the board’s majority is calling for proposals from lawyers who want the city attorney’s job.

Earlier this week, Mayor Ben Gomez and City Commissioners Tony Gonzales and Rick Guerra voted to request the city advertise for proposals from attorneys who could replace Morado.

During Tuesday’s meeting, Commissioner Carol Lynn Sanchez voted against the motion while Commissioner Rene Villafranco was absent at the time of the vote.

“We just want to see what we get,” Gonzales said yesterday, referring to proposals from attorneys who would apply for the job.

Gonzales appeared satisfied with Morado’s job performance.

“He’s done a good job,” he said.

Yesterday, Gomez, Villafranco, Sanchez and Guerra did not respond to messages requesting comment on their votes.

Morado also could not be reached for comment.

Last year, commissioners supported Morado when then-Commissioner Esteban Rodriguez requested the city advertise for attorneys who wanted the job.

At the time, Villafranco said he believed Morado was doing a good job.

Meanwhile, Gomez, who had won election in May 2017, said he wanted more time to determine whether he would consider seeking proposals for Morado’s job.

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 President Bill Clinton’s nominee to replace U.S. District Judge Filemon Vela in 2000.

However, the nomination expired when Clinton left office in January 2001.

Ricardo Morado’s San Benito experience

1987-1989 – City commissioner

1995-1997 – City attorney

1998-2002 – Mayor

2011-present – City attorney