GALENA PARK, Texas -- A Texas-size showdown took place at Galena Park City Hall Wednesday, pitting the city s newly elected and first-ever Hispanic female mayor against the city administrator.
The people put me here for a reason, said Mayor Esmerelda Moya.
Why have a democracy, asked administrator Robert Pruett. That s why we vote.
The dispute began first thing in the morning when the mayor fired the police chief, city attorney and the administrator, in a move she said the people elected her to do.
And they re depending on me to do what s right for the city, said Moya.
But City Administrator Robert Pruett refused to leave his office, insisting the mayor had no authority to fire department heads without the backing of city commissioners.
This is something the mayor and the city commission is going to have to work out, said Pruett.
Despite the disagreement, the mayor hired someone to change the locks at city hall. Some of Pruett s supporters tried to stand in the way.
Pruett s made headlines before. The KHOU 11 News I-team exposed allegations of racism within the police department when he served as the city s top cop. Some of the mayor s supporters want him to go.
What s best for Galena Park is Pruett out, said Rosario Flores.
But at least two of the city s four commissioners stand by Pruett.
He s worked for the city for 21 years, said Commissioner Lois Killough. He has a proven record.
Later in the evening, Precinct 2 Deputy Constables arrived to try and quell the dispute.
But the City Hall standoff was still going strong.
The mayor and city commissioners planned to hold a special executive session meeting next Monday.