Brady City Manager Accuses Mayor Of Creating Hostile Work Environment, Improper Actions


The Brady City Council meeting Tuesday night began quiely enough. The Council first approved a resolution declaring Tony Groves to be elected Mayor since he is unopposed in the May local election.  Council also approved a Hotel Occupancy Tax funding application for $15,000 for the Heart of Texas Music Association for the annual Heart of Texas County Music Festival set for Mar. 14th – 23rd.  And, they tabled a lease agreement with Redeemer Church for the old K-Life building.


But, the mood changed sharpely when they addressed the next agenda item — the question of retaining an outside, independent counsel to investigate a complaint concering the conduct of Brady Mayor Aaron Garcia. The Mayor first questioned the authority of the City Attorney to have already contacted an outside investigator over an allegation of the creation of a hostile work environment.


Although the Council ultimately adjourned into an Executive Session,  the open portion of the meeting included an often heated back-and-forth between the two with the Mayor repeatedly questioning the City Attorney’s motives and actions. She responded she believed she had acted properly, given that the allegation involved the highest elected official in the City, and no City employee could legitimately conduct such an investigation.


After almost a half-hour, Brady City Manager, Erin Corbell, announced she was the person who filed the complaint, and she then read it to the Council.  In her complaint, dated January 31st, Corbell alleged the Mayor’s behavior had created a hostile work environment for her and other City employees; that he had abused the City Charter; and that he had disobeyed State law in relation to searching for building code “work-arounds.”


Folllowing Corbell’s statement, Mayor Garcia returned to questioning the City Attorney actions and motives in the process.  The conversation was at times disjointed and confusing as the sparring between the two was often interrupted by comments from the audience who also questioned the Attorney’s actions.


After a short break, Mayor Garcia read a statement in which he said he refuted the allegations made by the City Manager about his actions related to going to the State about work-arounds for code enforcement. He acknowledged he had told the City Manager he did’t trust anything coming from her or her office, adding that he believed he had acted to hold the staff accountable and wanted residents to know what is going on in the City.


The Council then adjourned into Executive Session.