TEMPLE — A petition supporting Judy Morales and expressing the opinion she should remain on the Temple City Council was circulated over the weekend in an attempt to counter a petition by Mari Paul to have Morales, the entire City Council and the mayor recalled.
A copy of the petition was dropped off at Mayor Danny Dunn’s office on Friday. The council can review and consider the petition though it has no legal ramifications, said Assistant City Attorney Kayla Landeros,
The petition to keep Morales states, “Without Mrs. Morales as our representative on the council, it is quite obvious that the East Side of Temple will not be represented. ... We elected her and we want her to remain on the council. She is our representative and we know she has our best interests at heart. If and when we ever feel that she is not doing a good job, then we will not re-elect her.”
The petition also reminds the council that Morales is innocent until proven guilty and was “charged with only a misdemeanor and has not been convicted ...”
Morales was arrested and charged with destroying, removing or altering public information. If convicted, Morales could be fined up to $4,000 and spend up to three months in jail, according to a news release from Bell County Attorney Jim Nichols.
Civil rights issues also were used as an argument in the petition in that Morales is the only minority member on the council and almost 50 percent of Temple is minorities. It states, “If she is removed, our civil rights are being violated.”