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      San Benito Mayor Joe Hernandez Ousted

      San Benito city commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday night to oust Mayor Joe Hernandez for taxes he owed to the city.

      The deliberation took more than an hour, but in the end Joe Hernandez was unseated, effective immediately.

      "It TMs unfortunate that whatever happened here, it happened, former Mayor Hernandez said. To me it TMs considered a witch hunt."

      Hernandez added that he felt the commissioners TM decision to oust him was unfair.

      "It TMs a personal attack. They know that I TMm a public person here in the community and of course they TMre not very satisfied with that," he said.

      However City Commissioner Celeste Sanchez disagreed.

      "It TMs not a personal attack on him, if the charter didn TMt say what it says, we wouldn TMt be doing this," she said.

      The charter stated that any San Benito official cannot hold office if he or she owes taxes to the city.

      Hernandez claimed he was not aware of what the charter said.

      "I TMve had my wife in the hospital in and out and I myself I just got out of the hospital, I had some kidney stones on both kidneys. I don TMt want anybody to have sympathy for me," Hernandez said, claiming that was the reason he owed nearly$1000 in back taxes.

      However, he said those taxes had been paid off as of Tuesday morning. Still, he said that should not cost him his position.

      Hernandez requested a hearing to review the city TMs charter and his removal from office.

      In the meantime, San Benito's mayor pro tem, Jack Garcia, will take over duties at the city's top leader.

      At this time, there is now word on when the hearing will be held.