Former Edinburg EDC director fired, paid severance

EDINBURG — The economic development arm of the city transferred an additional $75,000 to its personnel budget in July to buyout the former executive director’s contract, a move that indicates the board terminated him after serving less than a year-and-a-half in the position.

Former Edinburg Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Plinio “Joey” Trevino parted ways with the nonprofit in early July.

At the time, it appeared Trevino had resigned from his post, but that might not be the case, according to a discussion corporation board members had Tuesday during a regularly scheduled meeting.

When initially questioned about Trevino’s abrupt departure, Board President and Edinburg Councilman Jorge Salinas declined to comment on the matter and directed inquiries to the nonprofit’s attorney, Aaron Vela.

Vela, however, did not respond to calls for comment.

On Tuesday, the board appeared to give its first indication that it terminated the contract with Trevino.

While discussing line item transfers for the entity’s 2018-19 budget, board member Mike Farias, who also serves as a trustee for the Edinburg school district, noted a $75,000 transfer to the corporation’s personnel budget.

Newly appointed interim director Ruben Ramirez had an explanation for it.

“So the previous, my predecessor, the executive director, I believe came to an agreement with this board or representative for some contractual obligations — buyout so to speak,” he said. “It’s to account for that severance.”

Without naming his predecessor, Ramirez indicated $75,000 had been transferred, but did not say exactly how much Trevino was given to leave the EDC.

When reached via phone Wednesday, Trevino declined to comment on his departure and severance pay, referring all questions to corporation officials.

The board president, EDC attorney and executive director, however, did not return calls for comment Wednesday.