Criminal past haunts Elsa interim city manager

Linda Perez lost her leg when a drunk driver smashed into her motorcycle ten years ago.

That drunk driver is the new interim city manager in Elsa.

That was a real shock to me, said Perez. Because I thought this was part of... ok, I realize my life was going to change, maybe there would be some changes in his.

Perez learned to live with a prosthetic leg.

A recent fall took that away.

Perez now depends on a walker and can't use her hands while standing.

I've got a little granddaughter that TMs six-months-old that you know I can't now go and carry her."

Perez hides no frustration when talking about Elsa's new interim city manager, Javier Rodriguez.

I mean he was a judge in that city when he hit me, and now here he is, he's going to run this city, said Perez. Well, it sounds like there are some fishy things going on and to me it just doesn't seem right."

Fishy is what some described the appointment of Rodriguez to interim city manager.

Some said he got the job because he's a family member of Elsa City Commissioner Eli Rodriguez.

Eli Rodriguez said he and Javier are fourth or fifth cousins and are not breaking any rules.

Elsa Mayor Al Perez was the only person to vote against hiring Rodriguez.

Mayor Al Perez is currently facing a DWI charge himself.

He doesn't have the education we were looking for, said Mayor Perez. We need somebody with a degree in planning, management.

Interim city manager Javier Rodriguez spent most of Wednesday out of city hall.

He told Action 4 News he could not make time to talk on camera.

He maintained he was never intoxicated during the DWI accident.

As far as his credentials, he said he graduated high school and the police academy in Harlingen.

He said he has been self-employed and also worked for the county handling budgets and doing construction.

Rodriguez also served as city manager in La Villa.

"Javier did a good job in La Villa, said Elsa City Commissioner Eli Rodriguez.

La Villa's mayor confirmed Rodriguez was voted out of the position.

He said Rodriguez was holding the city back economically.

Amputee Linda Perez told Action 4 News, Rodriguez has held her back from living life how she wants.

Court records show Javier Rodriguez was sentenced to six years shock probation for the intoxication assault.

That means he served a short prison term followed by probation.