Embattled Uvalde School District Police Chief Pete Arredondo, who’s been blamed for the failed police response to the massacre of 19 children and two teachers and who doubles as a city council member, could lose his seat at the next city council meeting.
Uvalde’s city council voted to deny Arredondo a leave of absence, largely due to opposition from residents on Tuesday.
“We don’t want him,” Uvalde resident Kim Hammond said forcefully at Tuesday’s city council meeting. “We want him out!”
State investigators have said Arredondo was the incident commander during the shooting and is responsible for the “abject failure” to go into the classroom and kill the shooter, waiting over an hour and 14 minutes before breaching the classroom door.
Arredondo has already missed two public meetings, claiming he’s had death threats, according to the Texas Tribune.
Under a local Uvalde ordinance, a council member who misses three meetings must be removed from office. Since the city council voted unanimously to deny him a leave of absence, Arredondo could be ousted after the next meeting on July 12 if he doesn’t show up.
The Uvalde city attorney did not immediately respond to The Post request for how that process would play out.
“You can remove him because he’s going to vacate his seat. Your agenda (item) is a decision not to give Arredondo a leave of absence. Why the hell would you?” Hammond said to cheers from her fellow residents.
Hammond explained to the mayor and city council that she and other residents looked into recalling Arredondo before realizing they couldn’t because he hasn’t served in his seat for eight months. They also tried to change the city charter, before hitting another roadblock. The charter has recently been amended and can’t be changed again for another two years.
“Let him miss three meetings. He’s my councilman. Don’t waste any more time on him.”
Before the May 24 shooting, Arredondo ran for and won a seat on Uvalde’s city council, getting sworn in away from public view days after the massacre. He has not attended any council meetings since the shooting and has stayed out of the public eye.
The Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District announced Thursday it had placed Arredondo on administrative leave effective immediately.