Public hearing to be held on ethics complaint over San Marcos City Council member's tweet

The tweet in debate was posted Nov. 19 by San Marcos Council Member Joca Marquez. (Community Impact Newspaper)
The tweet in debate was posted Nov. 19 by San Marcos Council Member Joca Marquez. (Community Impact Newspaper)

The tweet in debate was posted Nov. 19 by San Marcos Council Member Joca Marquez. (Community Impact Newspaper)

Image description
The tweet in display was provided by the San Marcos Ethics Review Commission complaint packet.

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.”





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