Galena Park mayor changes locks to City Hall to oust fired city administrator

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A new mayor in Galena Park is making changes and she's taking some drastic actions to make them happen

When an the eviction is underway, the first thing to go are the old door locks.

There may be an eviction attempt going on now at Galena Park City Hall, where the new mayor is trying to evict the police chief, city attorney and city administrator.

On Wednesday, Mayor Esmeralda Moya informed all three appointed officials they were out of office. At least two are refusing to leave. One is staying in his office.

Four commissioners say they couldn't get in to their offices Wednesday because their keys no longer work.

"The key I have is not functioning. I can't use it," Commissioner Juan Flores said.

The mayor says they'll get new keys, but City Administrator Robert Pruett will not. Firing Pruett, Moya says, was one of her campaign platforms. She accuses him of trying to usurp her authority. Pruett denies that.

"The start of the new administration is rocky. It's a sad day in Galena Park," Pruett said.

He also has allies on the commissioner's court, some of whom called the mayor's actions stunning.

Moya, though, is unapologetic. She says she was elected by people who want sweeping change at city hall and this is the opening salvo.

"My obligation is to the people and city, not certain people," she said.

Pruett isn't leaving his office, concerned the locks will be changed should he venture out his door. He also believes that the mayor alone cannot fire department heads, saying it requires a vote of the commission, which Moya may not have. Moya says she's been advised otherwise.

Two deputy constables are now standing guard at City Hall, where the lights are burning as both sides continue to stake out their territory.

The next council meeting is Monday, which commissioners, the mayor and the city administrator all agree -- it will be interesting.
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