Judge Throws Out Extended Terms For Socorro, Texas Council

Apr 26, 2013

A judge in West Texas says the Socorro City Council in 2011 broke state law by extending terms for elected members without voter approval.

Visiting District Judge Stephen Ables on Thursday ordered removal of council members Jesus "Jesse" Gandara Jr. and Guillermo "Willie" Madrid Jr. Both resigned in February amid the legal dispute but continued to serve.

The judge also ordered the council to hold an election in November for three other council seats.

Ables voided a recent annexation ordinance that included parts of San Elizario. Gandara and Madrid, who seek re-election May 11, voted for the annexation.

An attorney for the Socorro City Council says members will consider whether to appeal. City officials have said they believed the council legally extended terms from three to four years.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.