Still, according to Calexico City Attorney Michael Rood and Housing Authority interim legal counsel Eduardo Rivera, there was no conflict in such a setup.
Whatever. This still smelled fishy. And we are glad that negotiations between Grijalva and the authority board may be over, at least according to what we are hearing.
We've always liked Grijalva. He's an intelligent man who has made what we think are mostly fair, informed decisions in the best interest of his community. But we have to call him on the carpet on this one.
Grijalva recently stated his intent to run against Rudy Maldonado for the District 5 Imperial Irrigation District board seat, so the timing of this Housing Authority debacle couldn't be worse.
If Grijalva is considering a larger future in politics, what he got embroiled in won't win him any votes. While this is seemingly minor and it probably won't cause him to lose an election, it ultimately won't help his credibility.
Apparently we're not the only ones who have been wincing at the negotiations between the authority board and Grijalva. A high-ranking official with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development — the federal agency that subsidizes the low-income housing offered by the authority — appears to have found some of the board's actions, including the Grijalva negotiations, not exactly sterling. HUD officials never overtly stated there was a conflict, but we don't think anyone can misinterpret HUD's message.
HUD even went as far as to direct the authority board to appoint Juan Ortiz, the authority's administrative services director, as interim executive director, a suggestion the board dismissed, voting to not appoint Ortiz. Ortiz earlier had said he didn't want the job if the board continued its shenanigans, and we certainly see his point.
This is all a big mess that by now we imagine some are wanting to sweep under the carpet.
Brooms won't clean up this mess.