Fate Of Pueblo City Manager On Hold

City Council Wants To See More Emails Between Manager and HR Director

POSTED: 12:55 AM MST Nov 18, 2011    UPDATED: 05:45 AM MST Nov 18, 2011 
PUEBLO, Colo. -

Pueblo City Council members went into executive session shortly after 11 Friday morning and went home just before 4:00 p.m. without reaching a decision.

City council was asking to see more emails between HR Director Marisa Walker and City Manager Jerry Pacheco. TARGET 13 is told they want to see about 200 more emails between the pair.

Council plans to have another executive session on Monday at 5 p.m. to continue going through emails and possibly reach a conclusion regarding what action to take regarding Pacheco.

Pueblo City Council members met in executive session Friday to discuss issues surrounding allegations against Pueblo City Manager Jerry Pacheco and an alleged affair with HR Director Marissa Walker.

The executive meeting, which was held behind closed doors, started shortly after 11 a.m. Friday at the interim city hall.

Council President Ray Aguilera said council went through thousands of documents, the same emails TARGET 13 went through when we began investigating.

Many of the emails provided to TARGET 13 by the city were redacted, council was allowed to see the ones that weren't blacked out.

Aguilera told TARGET 13 that he wants to do right and show the community that council is taking this matter seriously.

He stopped short of saying if council found any wrong doing. "It is still a personnel issue," Aguilera said.

Pacheco left the executive session shortly before noon with little comment on his future.

For council to push forward with an independent investigation four council members must agree.

TARGET 13 told you Monday about the 340 signatures placed on a petition demanding one by community members. Council was presented the petitions at Monday's city council meeting by Alvin Rivera.

"There is a community our here that is very concerned about what these issues will be resolved," Rivera said.

He said if council's decision is not to go ahead with an independent investigation, it would be an insult to those who stepped up and signed his petition, "Not only is it an insult to the 340 people, but the rest of the community, because it's the reset of the community that are distracted with what's happening in city government," said Rivera.

Newly elected councilman Chris Nicoll was asking for the independent investigation.

"I am hoping this matter is out of the way so we can start clean in the New Year with new issues that are affecting our city," Nicoll told TARGET 13's Tak Landrock.

Nicoll also is concerned about allegations concerning nepotism and favoritism within city government.

A judge recently ruled against the city finding there were violations of nepotism within the city manager?s office.

?It was a very one -sided decision and we?re confident we?ll win an appeal,? Pacheco said during Monday?s city council work session.

Pueblo City Manager Jerry Pacheco plans to fight a district judge?s ruling that he was guilty of nepotism and favoritism.

Pacheo added that he isn?t involved in the ?front line? hiring of employees and plans to appeal the ruling.

On Monday, several sources told TARGET 13 that Pueblo City Manager Jerry Pacheco sent members of council a letter stating the facts about the relationship between him and Walker.

Walker was one of his direct employees until TARGET 13 began asking questions about their relationship.

Pacheco told TARGET 13 that he wouldn't comment on anything involving his divorce. "I've briefed the city council and the city council knows everything that has been going on since the day after my Blackberry was stolen," Pacheco said Monday in his first on camera interview.

Pacheco has avoided any on camera interviews until TARGET 13 asked him to talk about the allegations at Monday?s council meeting.

Pacheco added that he has the same rights as any other city employee and has due process rights, including privacy rights.