Internal Investigation Delaying Start of New City Attorney's Duties

There has been word that the newly hired City Attorney Roxann Cotroneo will not begin her duties as scheduled because of a new internal investigation.

The investigation reportedly involves some questionable comments that she  made in front of office staffers.

Kiii News Reporter Brian Burns sat down with City Manager Ron Olson about the investigation to get the details.

The investigation was prompted by an anonymous email sent to the mayor, some council members and some city staff. The email accuses Cotroneo of making statements that may have been offensive to some of her staff members at an informal meeting.

Olson said he considers it a serious investigation.

"It was an anonymous email sent making allegations against the newly appointed city attorney, saying basically, alleging that she said inappropriate things in an informal department meeting that was held," Olson said.

He said there are procedures in place for city employees to report such incidents and remain anonymous, but that the investigation should find those responsible for the email.

While the city manager declined to repeat what was allegedly said by Cotroneo, he did say that the investigation will delay her taking over the duties of city attorney.

"She was scheduled to start on Monday, the third," Olson said. "Until this investigation is over, even if she starts, I'm not sure it's fair to put her in the middle of that department until they've finished the investigation and have whatever actions we're going to take."

Over the last 25 years, Cotroneo has served as an assistant city attorney in Dallas, a special U.S. attorney and most recently as the city attorney in Harlingen.

Olson said if there is validity to the charges, counseling or discipline, or even termination, could be considered.


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