Saturday , May 25 2024

Sanger Mayor Quits Blames City Council

Sanger Mayor Joshua Mitchel resigned Wednesday. He has been in office in 2010.

"I could no longer watch my wife be followed. We’ve had our tires slashed, my house has been vandalized several times, my office has been broken into several times, my house has been broken into once, I’ve had my campaign office this last go around burned down," Mitchell said.

He says the city councils attempt to fire former City Manager Brian Haddix in December was a breaking point. Haddix recently resigned for a job in Chowchilla.

Mitchell says he makes $ 500 a month as mayor and has had to fight 19 investigations he says were lies. He accuses Councilman Humberto Garza for being behind some of the false accusations.

"I’m being accused of hiring too many white people in this community and this is an open letter by a sitting city council member," Mitchell said holding up a letter written by Garza.

Garza has signs in the window of his home accusing Mitchell of being a crook. The signs were removed shortly before our interview.

"Would I like to have more hispanics on there? Of course, but if they are not qualified. I don’t do the hiring. I only participated in the hiring of the manager and the city attorney and both of them are white," Garza said.

Political analyst Don Larson says tension in Sanger can hurt recent economic prosperity.

"Community turmoil in the city council, the mayors office all of that has an affect on wether people want to come there or businesses want to locate there," Larson said.

Currently the Fair Political Practices Commission is investigating Mitchell for conflict of interest related work his landscaping business is doing for the city. Last year he was fined $ 7,000 for failing to properly report campaign contributions.

"I think there are errors that he made in judgement I don’t think he’s a bad person I just think he made poor judgement," Garza said.

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