Messy political standoff continues at Galena Park city hall - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Messy political standoff continues at Galena Park city hall

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In Galena Park, city government has gone down right goofy.

At the center of an ongoing power struggle is Robert Pruett, a City Administrator who critics claim has taken control of the town without ever receiving a single vote.

"He's got a mentality of it's my way or the highway," said Barry Ponder, a 60 year Galena Park resident and vocal opponent of Pruett.

Pruett's critics helped elect Esmerelda Moya mayor. Wednesday, as her first official act, Moya fired the long serving City Administrator and ordered every lock at City Hall changed. In the political sense, it was a house cleaning.

"This is the only way we are going to do it because nothing gets done without Pruett's approval, and the people know it, because they have to go through him" said Moya.

What happened next has transformed Galena Park City Hall into spectacle.

City Administrator Pruett refused to leave the premises and Galena Park Police refused to make him. Pruett claims only the City Commission can force him out - a four member elected board that backs him 100 percent.

"He has done a tremendous job. Most of the citizens who have their heads screwed on straight like him because he does act on stuff," said Danny "Bevo" Simms, a City Commissioner.

"He has brought us out of bankruptcy. We are operating in the black," said Lois Killough, a newly elected commissioner who also supports Pruett.

City Commissioner Juan Flores told Fox 26 Pruett has his vote as well.

Mayor Moya says the City Charter allows her to legally fire Pruett if a single commissioner will back her move in a vote scheduled for 4 pm Monday.

In the meantime, she's accused the embattled City Administrator of sneaking City records out of his office and her supporters are threatening political retaliation if Pruett keeps his post.

"If Commissioners are siding with with Pruett they won't be re-elected next time, if they don't get re-called this time," said Ponder.

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