El Paso Corruption Scandal

“El Paso is a city that believes in its soul that it has been cheated of its destiny.” -Paul Burka, Texas Monthly

I am always flattered when out-of-town media outlets cover El Paso news and events, but when it comes to our current county corruption scandal, I feel “turfy” and want to read locally-produced coverage. Paul Burka’s recent take on the county corruption scandal, albeit totally smart and well-written, is not locally produced and seems clinical at times. Luckily, I can rely on Newspaper Tree for smart, well-written, local coverage of El Paso news. For example, Joe Olvera’s recent column in response to Raymond Telles’ guilty plea, has all the qualities I need in a column; cultural sensitivity, insight and a deep sense of El Paso history. What did you think?

Lisa Degliantoni

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1 comment so far

  1. Joe Olvera on

    Lisa – I got a kick out of reading the responses to the column I wrote about Raymond Telles’ wayward ways. Some writers say that the Telles family was good to me, but, actually, I worked for Richie Telles. Once, when I ran his campaign for City Rep. against Susie Azar, the other when I became the editor of the newspaper, The El Paso Reporter. Richie Telles didn’t “help” me with this venture. Actually, he was one of the investors in that newspaper. Other investors included George McAlmon, Alfonso Perez, Dr. Joe Mendoza, Moe Beltran and, of course, Richie Telles. It wasn’t my “failed” newspaper. It belonged to them. I was only the editor.

    The problem started when I informed them that I was a legitimate newsman and that the paper wouldn’t be used to promote their self-interests. I told them that if any of them screwed up, I would be the first to know and I would write about it in the Reporter. That didn’t sit too well with them, so they pulled their support.

    Remember, it was their newspaper, not mine. Each gave $2,000 to get the paper off the ground – $2,000 plus five men totalled $10,000. However, I didn’t get the money upfront. Only McAlmond invested his $2,000 up front. The others invested half-heartedly, and, after I told them that the Reporter was not going to be their “protection” they pulled back their support and left me hanging. I tried to keep the paper going by myself, but that failed because, of course, I didn’t have any money.

    So, to say that the Telles family “helped” me in my “failing” newspaper is totally inaccurate. Telles “invested” his money, he didn’t give it to me. He had an interest. Telles wound up owing me $3,000 when he died. He never paid me and I never insisted. The five “investors” are or were really great men and great El Pasoans, but, nobody gave me anything. I worked my ass off for them, and, you know what? It was worth it, because the El Paso Reporter was one hell of a newspaper. After that, Tom Fenton hired me to write a column for the Times and, later, offered me a job as a full-time reporter/columnist. That’s the truth as I know it and as I lived it.

    Sin Fin


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