Council Affirms Decision to Place City Attorney on Leave, Names Interim City Attorney

The Lubbock City Council voted to place City Attorney Sam Medina on paid leave pending the outcome of an investigation.
LUBBOCK, TX -- The Lubbock City Council voted to place City Attorney Sam Medina on paid leave pending the outcome of an investigation. He had asked to be placed on leave on Monday amid an allegation of sexual assault by his estranged daughter-in-law.

Councilwoman Latrelle Joy recused herself from the discussion and the vote because she had a potential conflict of interest. Joy represents Medina’s son, Erik Medina, in an ongoing divorce with Angelina Medina. Angelina Medina made an allegation of sexual assault against Sam Medina which is under investigation by the Lubbock Police Department.

During a special session of the City Council, Mayor Glen Robertson asked, “How do we be fair and do the right thing?” Robertson said it was important to be fair to Sam Medina but also fair to the taxpayers of Lubbock.

“The motion that is on the floor is not an open-ended arrangement,” Robertson said. “If further information becomes available we can re-evaluate.”

Robertson, Victor Hernandez, Floyd Price, and Jim Gerlt voted in favor of paid administrative leave. Karen Gibson voted against, and Todd Klein was not present.

After the meeting, Gibson explained her ‘no’ vote by saying, “I just felt like that was the right vote. I felt like it was a personal issue and it is not for the taxpayers to pay for it.”

Gibson would prefer that Medina be on unpaid leave instead of paid leave.

“He asked to be put on leave. I don’t have a problem with that. I just don’t think he should be paid for it,” Gibson said. “It has nothing to do with city business.”

"There's so many problems at hand, and where you're in a situation where you have a man that has these type of allegations against him, we have to weigh as a council, what is fair to this employee, and at the same time, what's fair to the taxpayers?" Robertson said.

Mayor Robertson said what comes next could take weeks, or even months. "We're hoping in about two to three weeks, any investigation that is going on with the Lubbock Police Department will be over with at which time, they're gonna have a decision whether to drop the investigation and say there's not enough evidence or turn it over to the local district attorney," Robertson said.

The Council also chose to name Mitch Satterwhite as the interim City Attorney.

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