Pubdate: Tue, 04 Mar 2003
Source: Corpus Christi Caller-Times (TX)
Copyright: 2003 Corpus Christi Caller-Times
Author: Bart Bedsole, KRIS-TV
Note: Bart Bedsole, KRIS-TV - This story is written and published by
KRIS Communications.


Random drug testing could become a requirement for elected officials
in Kingsville.

A number of city leaders in Kingsville recently denied any involvement
with an alleged South Texas drug family, and they could soon have to
prove it.

Kingsville city employees are already subject to random drug testing,
and the idea is if those who help to maintain the city have such a
policy, then maybe those who govern should have one also.

Just weeks after an ugly standoff between Kingsville city officials
and elected leaders, a fiasco that included allegations of corruption
and organized crime, this new drug-testing policy aims to restore at
least some of the trust that voters and even city employees may have

It's a policy few other cities have adopted, but legally speaking,
city attorney Courtney Alvarez says there's no problem.

"The city commission could impose what ever rules and regulations they
want on themselves," says Alvarez, "and that's what they would be
doing through this policy."

And it appears to have the votes needed to adopt it.

Mayor Phil Esquivel says, "We do support it, I support it, the whole
commission supported it."

The mayor says the reason he supports it is not just to dispel the
allegations of corruption among elected officials, but also to help
the city move forward and provide leadership for those around them.

"What's good for the goose is good for the gander," says Esquivel,
"and if we're expected to be the example, then we need to be the example."

"The commission has always said they like to lead by example," says
Alvarez, "and they expect the city to set the example, and they expect
the city to set the example for the citizens, and I think this is a
situation where they might be wanting to take the lead and set the
example for the employees as well."

It was previously discussed by commissioners, but they opted to seek
more input on such a policy from the Texas Municipal League and other
legal authorities before officially enacting something like this.

But again, we know at least 3 commissioners support it, and that's all
the votes they need.

The city of Brownsville recently considered as similar
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