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City council terminates city secretary

City council  terminates city secretary
N. KILBY-SMITH Angela Cantu

For the second time in just a few years, the city of La Vernia has terminated the employment of its city secretary.

The La Vernia City Council met for approximately an hour Sunday afternoon, largely in closed session, returning to open meeting to approve a motion to dismiss City Secretary/Treasurer Angela Cantu.

Councilman Jennifer Moczygemba made the motion to dismiss Cantu from city employment, citing incompetency and misconduct, which was seconded by Marie Gerlich. The council ...Moczygemba, Gerlich, Eloi Cormier, Harold Schott, and Mark Doege unanimously approved the matter.

The special July 12 meeting was called after a review of a bill led to questions over use of a city-issued gas card, said Mayor Robert Gregory. That re-view ultimately led to the council’s decision Sunday. Cantu was in attendance, as were La Vernia Police Chief Bruce Ritchey, city attorney Charlie Zech, and City Administrator Yvonne Griffin.

“The city has terminated the current city secretary,” Gregory said after the meeting. “It’s regretful, but necessary. We do the job the citizens put us here to do.”

Cantu began her job in La Vernia in October 2009.

A former La Vernia city secretary, Kristine Speer, was charged with theft of property of more than $1,500 but less than $20,000, after misusing a city-issued credit card. The city agreed to deferred adjudication and full restitution in that case, ultimately recovering the $8,000 spent.

“That money belonged to the people of La Vernia,” said Councilman Harold Schott, who was mayor at the time Speer served as city secretary/treasurer.

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