Was Progreso city manager drinking beer inside city vehicle?

Open beer can found inside abandoned SUV // Viewer Photo

Was Progreso City Manager Alfredo Espinosa drinking a beer while behind the wheel of a city vehicle?

That's a question that authorities are trying to answer.

Hidalgo County Pct. 1 deputy constables reported finding an abandoned SUV stuck in the mud in a rural area near Progreso's northern city limits around 7:15 a.m. Thursday.

Deputy constables found an open can of beer inside the abandoned vehicle and ran a routine check on the license plate, which revealed the SUV belong to the City of Progreso.

Investigators also found a City of Progreso badge inside the vehicle with the name of Progreso City Administrator Alfredo Espinoza printed on it.

Action 4 News contacted the City of Progreso but was directed to refer all questions to City Attorney Javier Villalobos.

Villalobos confirmed that SUV was reportedly last driven by Espinosa and that he got it stuck in the mud.

But Villalobos said the city is conducting an investigation to determine who the beer can belonged to because the vehicle is used by several city employees.

Villalobos said Espinosa got stuck in the mud while measuring boundaries between the City of Weslaco and City of Progreso.

Espinosa was making measurements due to pending litigation between the two cities and the measurements were needed by this morning for an 8:30 a.m. court hearing.

Villalobos said Espinoza left the SUV stuck in the mud so he could make it to the hearing on time.

Espinosa is no stranger to the law and has a history of drinking and driving, including several previous arrests and two convictions.

At the time of this morning's incident, Espinosa was in the middle of serving two years probation for a May 2012 DWI in Mercedes.

Deputy constables told Action 4 News that Progreso city officials have not cooperated with investigators.

Investigators said the vehicle is in violation of state law because the license plates are exempted, but the vehicle is not properly identified as belonging to the city.

The vehicle was impounded and will remain impounded until the city marks it as one of their vehicles.