City of Brownsville votes to abolish audit and oversight committee

The Brownsville City Commission during a meeting on December 4, 2018.

After a heated discussion, Brownsville City commissioners voted 4-3 to abolish its Audit and Oversight Committee Tuesday night.

The committee was initially created to audit the Brownsville Fire Department. The committee found that a private ambulance service was rerouting 78 non-emergency calls, resulting in more than $62,000 in lost revenue for the city.

Commissioner Ben Neece had prepared words for the commission and audience about abolishing the committee.

"Who will protect our employees once the audit committee is abolished," Neece said, "Concerning the operations of the city at the highest levels and to combat the culture of corruption gripping the city as proven by the ambulance service investigation."

Both commissioners Jessica Tetreau and Cesar De Leon tried to interject, but Neece continued to read until he was finished.

"Shine on the dark deeds of corruption that have plagued this fine city," Neece said. "Take note on who wants to take this regressive action."

"If you're not going to address this chair I will," Commissioner Ricardo Longoria said to Mayor Tony Martinez during Neece’s speech. "Commissioner is out of order. This is why I lose faith in the chair."

Mayor Tony Martinez, and Commissioners Ben Neece and Rose Gowen voted to keep the committee.

Commissioner De Leon, Tetreau, Longoria and Joel Munguia voted to abolish it.

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