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Ed Wylie quietly retired from his position as the city of Pharr’s deputy city manager but will now continue to have a role with the city as he was recently approved to be brought back in a consultant capacity.
During the May 15 City Commission meeting, commissioners unanimously approved an agenda item “authorizing City Manager to negotiate and enter into consulting agreement with Edward Wylie.”
The move came after Wylie’s retirement, which according to a public information request submitted by The Monitor, occurred sometime in April.
According to documents obtained through that request, Wylie’s employment with the city of Pharr began on Nov. 30, 1994. Wylie had served as the city’s interim city manager before stepping down in April 2022 and assuming the position of deputy city manager.
A city employee had previously accused Wylie of workplace sexual harassment, hostile work environment, and bullying and retaliation, according to complaint obtained by The Monitor. The complaint shows that Mayor Ambrosio Hernandez and the city commission were notified about the accusations in a letter sent on Sep. 28, 2021.
On Jan. 18, the city of Pharr filed a lawsuit in Travis County against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton requesting that the information about the accusations be withheld following at least two Texas Public Information Act requests.
Hernandez had previously been reached for comment, but he declined to comment, telling The Monitor that he is unable to comment on personnel issues.
As of Wednesday afternoon, no further action has been taken in the lawsuit.
Discussion about the city entering into a consulting agreement with Wylie was held in executive session during the May 15 meeting.
Following the vote, the commission held public testimony.
Lorena Singh, a Pharr resident and one of the individuals named in the complaint who made a public information request, approached the podium to address the commission. She expressed her disappointment in not having the opportunity to share her thoughts on the agenda item before it was voted on.
“I guess you already voted on the item before you could hear what I had to say,” Singh said.
“That is our policy,” Hernandez responded.
She went on to question why the city commission would consider the agenda item despite the accusations made against Wylie.
“Why is the city entered into an agreement with an individual who was named in a formal sexual harassment complaint,” she asked.
She was immediately cut off by Hernandez who said that she was violating a city policy.
“We’re going to go ahead and terminate this discussion because you are in violation of our policy. You cannot be slandering people. You’re going to be removed from this,” Hernandez said before calling for the microphone she was using to be turned off.
“This is not acceptable behavior,” he continued. “You’re violating our policies, and you’re going to leave City Hall. That’s how it works.”
The meeting was then abruptly adjourned. Attempts to reach Hernandez for comment at the time were unsuccessful.