Texas

Socorro residents asking for city manager to resign after traffic stop fallout

City's police chief already resigned

Socorro City Manager under fire

SOCORRO, Texas - More residents in the City of Socorro are asking city manager Adriana Rodarte to resign after police dash cam video surfaced of a traffic stop involving her son. 

According to an incident report, an officer pulled over Diego Salais for speeding back in January. The report states Salais admitted to having two beers. The report also states the officer noticed a white substance on Salais' nose. After the officer conducted a test on scene, the substance allegedly tested positive for the presence of cocaine. However, no charges were filed.

The report states Salais told the officer his mother is Rodarte, the city manager. Dashcam video obtained by ABC-7 shows a woman dressed in black arriving at the scene and speaking with the officer. A police report states the woman seen in the video is Rodarte. 

Socorro Police Chief Carlos Maldonado resigned earlier this month without explanation. After the police dashcam video was released, more residents in Socorro are calling on Rodarte to resign.  

"It's wrong for her and it's wrong for the city," Socorro resident Daniel Hernandez said. "We already have bad images of corruption here in Socorro and they're always talking about transparency. If it's out there, they should act on this and find what's really going on." 

"We don't get special treatment," Hernandez added. "Everyone should get the same treatment." 

"It makes some of the city representatives look bad," Socorro resident Pilo Morales said. "We cannot trust them anymore and they know that. If I was the city manager, I would resign." 

Monday, the City of Socorro announced it is conducting an internal investigation into the manner. 

ABC-7 reached out to the city manager at Socorro City Hall but was told she was not available.  City Spokesman Victor Reta later told ABC-7 only he and the mayor are able to comment. ABC-7 is waiting to hear back if the mayor is available for comment. 

However, at a meeting last week, Rodarte explained what happened that night.

"A phone call was placed to me by our officer because officers have that discretion. Never did I ask them to release my son, to give me my son. I have a 21-year-old and a 23-year-old and they are boys .... once he leaves, once he closes the door, I can't control what he does," Rodarte told council.

An officer at that same council meeting, with knowledge of the incident, said the officer involved in the stop made the decision to release Rodarte's son. "The officer, who is an expert in DWI, did not feel (Salais) would have flunked the DWI exam," the officer said.

Reta told ABC-7 Maldonado was not under contract when he resigned. The City of Socorro announced Jasiel Munoz will serve as interim police chief. The hiring of the new chief is up for discussion at the next council meeting this Thursday. Council will also discuss the formal investigation regarding the recent events. Council is also expected to discuss and review a possible violation of the City's media policy. 


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