Hewitt Mayor Ed Passalugo is facing two formal complaints from city employees and a complaint of official misconduct, and he says he has no idea what the complaints involve.
The agenda for Monday’s city council meeting was posted Thursday afternoon. Under the executive session portion, it states there are two formal confidential complaints concerning allegations against Passalugo and another item listing an official misconduct allegation regarding the mayor.
“It’s a matter the city council will discuss during executive session at the meeting Monday,” City Manager Adam Miles said. “It doesn’t come up a lot because a lot of employees don’t interact with the city council.”
Miles distributed a press release Thursday about the complaints filed by the employees. He said two complaints are confidential and a third complaint is related to official misconduct. He did not offer details of the allegations.
“I absolutely have no idea what they are or what it all is about,” Passalugo said Thursday. “They won’t give them to me. I have an attorney. I have asked for them, but they said they are confidential. I guess I will just have to wait until Monday night to find out. I have no idea.”
Passalugo, who has hired Waco attorney Peter Rusek to represent him, said he started collecting his emails, more than 7,000 of them, and is pulling his phone records to assist in his defense.
He said he got an email from Miles Thursday morning restricting him from city property and talking to city employees.
“I just want to know what charges they have against me,” Passalugo said. “I told the city attorney that if I was arrested for something on the street, they wouldn’t keep me in jail for five days without letting me know the charges. I feel like my civil rights are being violated.”
Miles said the city recently hosted a series of training sessions over the past several weeks that involved a majority of employees and several council members.
Passalugo, a native of Cortland, New York, has served on the council since 2011. He was again selected by the council May 7 to be mayor.
“I will be asking the city council to bring in a third party to investigate these claims,” Miles said. “I can’t conduct an investigation of the Hewitt City Council. Our city attorney is not the one that can investigate this. It needs to be someone outside that can investigate these allegations.”
Miles said he will ask the council Monday night to authorize the Fort Worth law firm Lynn, Ross & Gannaway to conduct the independent review.
The city council has authority to appoint only the city manager, city attorney, city engineer and municipal court judge.
“They have no authority to hire or fire anybody else, but they can make recommendations,” Miles said.
Employees fall under Miles’ management per the city charter, he said.
Miles said he could not release which department the employees that made the allegations worked for or how long the city employees worked for the city of Hewitt.
The agenda does not include any action item related to the matter.
Passalugo is retired from Valero Energy and CST Brands and was in retail management for more than 40 years, according to the city’s website. He also serves on the Texas Municipal League board of directors, McLennan County Rural Transit board and volunteers at Providence Health Center, according to the website.
Hewitt council members are not paid for their service.