Local News

Apr 10, 2014 4:25 PM by Andrew Ellison - aellison@kristv.com

Cotroneo Hired as City Attorney for Taft

TAFT - Roxann Cotroneo is the new city attorney in Taft. She was hired as the city attorney in Corpus Christi several months ago, but withdrew her acceptance of the job after an investigation revealed she made inappropriate comments to her city legal staff.

The Taft city council voted unanimously to approve the hire this week.

Cotroneo was chosen over at least three other candidates and will work as a contracted employee with the city where she'll be paid $125 per hour.

Keep in mind she typically won't work your usual 40 hour work week. She'll work and be paid by the city when her services are required.

The mayor and city council members all tell KRIS 6 News that she was far and away the most qualified candidate.

Council member Denise Hitt pointed to Cotroneo's experience in other cities.

"That was probably one of the major strong points. The 18 years of municipal law. That's needed," Hitt says.

There is another side to Cotroneo's history.

Before leaving Corpus Christi, she and the city signed a mutual release agreement where Cotroneo was paid $20,000 in exchange for not filing a lawsuit against the city.

And there's still on-going litigation between her and the city of Harlingen, where she worked as city attorney before Corpus Christi.

Council members in Taft say that's not a concern.

"Not at all. Not at all. I think she's going to help us move taft forward. She's more than qualified, and she has a lot of energy, and we're happy to have her," Hitt says.

Council member Donnie Riojas agrees.

"We're very confident that she is a professional, and she will move us forward in the right direction," Riojas says.

Some quick math for you at home. If Cotroneo were to work 20 hours a week (half of a usual work week), she would make $10,000 a month.

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