Hidalgo County squashes conflict of interest claim

Construction is clearing the path for an improved park in Elsa.

Hidalgo County is pumping over half a million bucks into playgrounds and baseball fields.

GAS Enterprises of Pharr got the contract to do the work.

The company's owner is the father-in-law of Elsa's Mayor Al Perez.

Perez is also a GAS enterprises employee.

Some are calling this a conflict of interest.

Some are accusing Mayor Perez of picking gas enterprises for his own gain.

Antonio Barco is deputy director for Hidalgo County Urban County Program.

The department dispersed the money for Elsa's park.

Barco told Action 4 News Hidalgo County Commissioners voted for GAS enterprises, not Mayor Perez.

Barco said the city of Elsa had no say in who got the job.

He said it does not matter that Perez is a GAS enterprises employee.

"That would have no bearing on it, said Perez. He does not own the company."

Furthermore, Perez wasn't even mayor when funds were given out.

"The previous administration was the one that came up with the idea, said Perez. The previous administration is the one that allocated monies for this particular project."

Barco said he hopes the people of Elsa can focus on the good, a better park for its families.

Action 4 News spoke with Mayor Al Perez by phone.

He did not want to interview on camera.

He maintained he had no choice in which company got the job.