Weatherford Democrat

Local News

October 20, 2013

WP councilman accuses city officials of trying to hide TCEQ sewage treatment fines


“Honestly, I’m very uncomfortable discussing this right now,” Osborn said. “I’m afraid for my job. I’m not a contract employee.”

“You don’t have to worry about your job,” Suchocki said. “Just be honest with us.”

“I’ve always been honest with you,” Osborn said.

“Why are you worried about your job?” Suchocki asked.

“Because I’ve never been up here before,” Osborn said.

Under further questioning by Suchocki, Osborn said he was told not to discuss and said he had copies of TCEQ documents.

“I’m asking you to preserve those, all those copies in your desk, and I want you to produce those at a later time,” Suchocki said.

“Do you have any questions about how the sewer plant works?” Osborn asked, drawing a laugh from Suchocki.

The city council later went into executive session with the city attorney before discussing in public the related agenda item.

“We had to drag it out of you at the last meeting,” Suchocki told Shaffstall of his questions about the TCEQ fines at a Sept. 24 budget meeting. The possibility of TCEQ fines were also mentioned in a prior city council budget discussion.

“So you knew about this back in May and you knew they were serious and, yet, you didn’t bring them forward [to city council],” Suchocki said. “They would never have been disclosed had I not asked those questions about fines and penalties.”

“Well, look, I think this is a serious problem,” Suchocki said. “And not only did you fail to inform the city council of these violations, which you are required to do under the ordinance, I think there is reason to believe you have purposely tried to avoid that being divulged to the city council. I think there is evidence that says you tried to hide it.”

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