El Pasoans upset over bond validation case

Sunday, February 10, 2013 - 12:14am

A group of El Pasoans is upset tonight that they've lost their bid to take the ballpark issue to a federal court.

Former El Paso Mayor Ray Salazar and Jesus Ochoa both spoke tonight, still opposing the ballpark construction and the demolition of City Hall.

At a press conference tonight, the group claimed the City is trying to silence their opposition to the baseball stadium.

A federal judge says his court will not hear this group's complaint. In fact, the federal court is fining the group $5,000 for what it calls "bad faith conduct." US District Judge Sam Sparks said "the removal of this case was obviously a sham designed solely to delay the trial scheduled for February 4, 2013." But this group disagrees, and are angry with the Judge's decision.    

"It is an assault on democracy, it is an assault on everything I learned about being an American citizen, about protecting the Constitution. And it is a reason why young people don't want to vote," said Jesus Ochoa.

The bond validation case will go to a state court and will determine if the City can go ahead and tear down City Hall, to make room for the Triple-A baseball stadium.

On Monday, an ordinance will also be introduced at City Council that could put a halt on the demolition altogether. Backers of the ordinance want the public to be able to vote on the demolition in May.

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