82 / 72
      80 / 72
      63 / 55

      La Joya police chief fired amid political controversy

      La Joya's police chief is off the job.

      The La Joya City Council fired Chief Julian Gutierrez during a special meeting around noon Friday.

      Gutierrez's job was the sole item on the meeting agenda and he did not attend the meeting.

      Mayor Pro-Tem Ana Lisa Ruiz made the motion to fire Gutierrez.

      The decision was made after City Administrator Mike Alaniz recommended the termination during an executive session behind close doors.

      Mayor Jose Salinas and four city commissioners declined to comment following the meeting.

      City Attorney Roberto Jackson, Jr. spoke to Action 4 News about their decision.

      "We are moving in a different direction and its in the best interest of the city," Jackson said.

      Gutierrez declined to comment because he has not been officially notified of the termination.

      Sources close to the case claim Gutierrez was fired because he did not pull over political rivals of the current elected officials.

      Jackson denied the claims that the decision to fire Gutierrez was a political move by the city council.

      "We do not ask any of our employees to do anything that is outside the confines of the law," Jackson said.

      Jackson would not give a reason as to why Gutierrez was fired.

      According to city records, Gutierrez was hired by the city in 2006 as police chief.

      Gutierrez worked as a police officer at the San Antonio Police Department five years prior to his employment at the La Joya Police Department.