Temporary Restraining Order dropped against La Joya Housing Authority

(Source: KGBT Photo)

The interim executive director of the La Joya Housing Authority (LJHA) has dropped her temporary restraining order Monday against the board who manages her, but this isn't the end of the legal battle.

Frances Salinas wanted to stop the board from holding a meeting so they couldn’t fire her, but the housing authority says, technically, she was never employed.

“The search of the housing authority records has not revealed any properly executed employment contract between the housing authority and Frances Salinas,” said Attorney Tim Daniels, who is representing the LJHA.

However, even if the employment contract was signed, it would have expired on January 3rd, which is nearly 11 months ago. Since then, there have been issues with the housing authority's finances.

"Housing authority monies have been mispent,” said Cristi LaJeunesse, the Acting Executive Director of LJHA. “The housing authority has no operating reserves.”

CBS 4 acquired the agency's financial records showing funds from their "low rent" account spent on Uber trips, hotels and restaurants. In addition, over $10,000 were withdrawn over time.

LaJeuness added that without the finances, there would be no way to keep low income families in house.

Neither Judge Albert Garcia of Hidalgo County Court at Law No. 6 or Salinas’ attorney, Dennis Ramirez, motioned to block any future meetings called by the housing authority.

“We do have every right to go forward and post a 72-hour posting of notice to terminate Frances Salinas,” said LaJeuness.

Salinas was not present in the courtroom and CBS 4 tried reaching out to her attorney for comment but Ramirez has yet to respond.

Judge Garcia has scheduled another hearing for Tuesday, Nov. 13 and will decide whether they should move forward with the lawsuit.

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