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Hello. Thanks for contacting us. You raise an interesting and important question for any municipal government: when must a lawmaker recuse him or herself due to a conflict of interest. Retribution for a city employee doing his or her job is problematic under any ethics code in the country.
So for starters, I might contact the Texas Ethic Commission. Staff there may have suggestions and can even provide information on the particular laws that apply -- and provide forms for filing a complaint should adverse action arise from the council vote.http://www.ethics.state.tx.us/
Another legal issue is the status of employment. Some jobs are contractual -- so that they are at the whim or fancy of a particular board or council for a set period; others are staff jobs governed by the city's official employment policies (unless considered a police officer, as a code enforcement officer, in which case, it may be covered by the Texas Civil Service statute).
Either way, any job that is not limited by a contract term is covered by a series of judicial ruling requiring due process in firing. That means a statement of why discipline has occurred, the opportunity for a hearing (it could be a "paper hearing" that takes place not orally, but based on submitted pleadings and documentation), as well a right to be free from harassment for doing one's job properly.
Sadly, if there is an over-reach by certain elected officials, then it may become necessary to hire a lawyer to assist -- as so much of this is procedural in nature, that one would not want to lose a case because of a procedural flaw. Experience lawyers in a particular field of law are less apt to make those kind of mistakes than is someone representing his or herself.
That lawyer might also discuss if there is also a possible public relations strategy that may be helpful. If there is evidence that the harassment is being conducted at the behest of a council member who is attempting to avoid compliance, there may be subtle and not-so-subtle ways to get the information to news reporters. They love a good scandal -- and if this appears to a reporter to also be inappropriate abuse
of power by an elected official, that would be another means of redress.
But unless very skilled with media relations, it is important to be cautious. Some jobs have some things that are, by law, confidential. Employment policies can sometimes forbid certain kind of media contacts. So it is crucial to be sure of the parameters before going down this road. Again, a lawyer experienced in local government employment issues will have some ideas and opinions on this aspect of an overall strategy.
I wish you and your family speedy and successful resolution in this matter.