EL PASO, Texas - El Paso is just weeks away from electing a new representative for District 8.
Cortney Niland submitted her resignation in April, citing personal reasons. However, Niland is still a city representative and still getting paid her city salary. Her seat is not vacant, even after resigning.
The city tells ABC-7 Niland is in office until the run-off election takes place on July 15th. Calls to Niland's phone went unanswered and there was no sign of her at her city hall office either. Niland's legislative aid, Lindsay Adams, says she's been "holding down the fort."
"She stuck around for about a month, but since then, I've been holding up all the District 8 office basically. Answering phone calls, emails, constituent concerns, meeting with staff for anything they may need," Adams said.
Niland submitted her official resignation on April 4th. According to the city's meeting notes, Niland has attended four out of the past 10 regular and special meetings since her resignation. Niland was absent for at least six meetings.
The city wouldn't say if Niland is still in El Paso. Adams only telling ABC-7 she's been out of the office, but making calls at least weekly.
"I've been in contact with her, she's not physically here in the office, but I have been in contact with her," Adams said.
Niland continues to receive her city salary under the state's holdover clause, a law that stipulates elected officials remain on holdover status until their seat is filled. When asked if anyone is holding Niland accountable for her responsibilities to her district, the city responded via email stating: "Elected officials are held accountable by constituents."
Adams, however, ensures business is being handled.
"There are a lot of projects going on but I've been able to work with staff and get them the updates or answer their questions so there's nothing that constituents have been left in the dark about," Adams said.
According to city charter, a city rep can be removed from office for a list of reasons, including failing to attend three consecutive regular meetings without being excused by council. Niland has been absent for six regular and special meetings, but not consecutively and not without excuse from city representatives.
If you live in District 8, you can still contact Niland's office at (915) 212-0008.