Joca Marquez, a San Marcos City Council member, will face a public hearing—yet to be scheduled—on an ethics complaint over a November tweet, the city’s ethics review commission ruled Jan. 6.
After the complaint was filed against Marquez on Dec. 12, the San Marcos Ethics Review Commission held a special meeting where the alleged violation was reviewed in a closed executive session.
The tweet under discussion was posted Nov. 19. In it, Marquez wrote: “All the developers seeking to make big profits in SM from 'affordable housing' all have the same look: White, male, tall, wear blue blazers, money hungry, and emotionless...”
Phil Hutchinson, a San Marcos resident, submitted the complaint Dec. 11. Hutchinson wrote in his complaint form, “The councilperson has expressed bias against applicants that fit a certain profile.”
Hutchinson said in the complaint that the tweet was a violation of the city’s ethics ordinance, Section 2.421a, which states: “[A]ll city officials and employees shall conduct themselves both inside and outside the city’s service so as to give no occasion for distrust of their integrity, impartiality or devotion.”
After a discussion in executive session that lasted almost two hours, members of the San Marcos ethics review commission said they had decided to schedule a public hearing on the complaint but did not specify a date.
In addition to alleging an ethics violation, Hutchinson wrote in the complaint, “The content of this tweet opens the city to a lawsuit, especially from an applicant fitting the description in the tweet.”