Citizen Files Ethics Complaint Against City Manager Ron Olson

A self-proclaimed concerned citizen filed an ethics complaint Friday against Corpus Christi City Manager Ron Olson, saying that Olson is deliberately delaying the construction of a fire station approved by voters.

Interim City Attorney Barney Knight responded to that complaint, calling the allegation "absurd."

John Sendejar is a retired firefighter. He filed the ethics complaint against the city manager because he believes Olson is deliberately delaying, if not putting off entirely, building fire station 18.

"I'm hoping that they will come to the end result, and that is that there has been a deliberate delay for this fire station," Sendejar said. "There has been no notice to the public that they're going to be able to not do this. Operational expenses or not, they're obligated to build this fire station because the voters said so."

Sendejar says by filing the complaint, he is putting the ethics commission on notice. He believes the city manager is ultimately responsible for the fire station not getting built.

Olson was not in his office at City Hall Friday afternoon, but 3News was able to speak to Interim City Attorney Barney Knight. Knight says decisions regarding fire station 18 are for the City Council to make, not the city manager.

"It's not unusual for projects to be postponed. It's not unusual for projects that have been approved by the voters for a bond issue to be put off and decided that those funds could be not spent," Knight said. "A voter approval of a bond proposition is not a mandate to do it. It's simply approval to do it, and it's common that city councils often decide not to proceed with a project that's been approved by the voters."

In the past, Sendejar has run for county tax assessor-collector and city council-at large. He said the ethics complaint is not politically motivated. He also said he doesn't have any political ambitions for the future.


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