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Three Vinton Council Members soon to be out of office
By Genevieve Curtis
EL PASO, TX- Three Vinton council members who face removal from office from the state of Texas will not run for re-election in November.
Instead, there will be three new faces on the council come November after Juvencia Rios Ontiveros, Martha Garcia, and Maria Medina did not file for re-election.
As KFOX14 previously reported, Ontiveros, Garcia and Medina face removal by the state for alleged ignorance, carelessness and official misconduct.
Two village residents filed a lawsuit to remove them last October and the trial was set to get underway this summer, but the case was postponed until this month.
Ontiveros, Garcia and Medina, who together hold a majority on council, have refused to accept more than $30 million in grant money to bring water and sewer to the west Texas town. They continue to refuse to even apply for grants to pay for the projects. They have also failed to pass a budget.
The mayor said she is hopeful with the trio out of office, three new leaders will help put the village back on the right track.
"I'm pretty sure they have the best interest of the city in their hearts and they are going to try to bring the projects forward and push the city the way we had intended before these two years," said Mayor Madeleine Praino.
Only three people filed to run for each of the three vacated seats, so there will not be an election. Instead they will automatically be sworn into office in November.
Dolores Diaz is one of the residents who will take office in November, she said she's looking forward to bringing changes to the town, including water and sewer.
"When you are out there in the audience all you can do is listen and try to say something, because most of the time when you would say something, she would just ignore you. They would just look down and start writing and this way maybe we can make a difference. I hope we can make a difference," said Diaz.
Residents Manuel Leos and Santos Lucero will also take office in November.
KFOX14 called Ontiveros for a comment but she hung up.
Currently, the District Attorney's Office said the removal case against all three is still pending.
As of now, it is still scheduled to go to trial in October.