Uvalde mayor resigns over medical issues

 April 2, 2024

The mayor of Uvalde, Texas is resigning over medical issues.

The abrupt shakeup is the latest to hit the city after its embattled police chief stepped aside in March.

Mayor Cody Smith was elected in 2023 in the shadow of the horrific massacre at Robb Elementary, in which a gunman murdered 19 students and two teachers.

The delayed and cautious police response became a national controversy.

Uvalde mayor resigns

The chief of police Daniel Rodriguez stepped down on March 12 after the city released a report that cleared the police, stirring anger among parents of the victims.

"I believe it is time for me to embrace a new chapter in my career," Rodriguez said.

Now, it's the mayor saying goodbye, pointing to unexpected medical problems. “I want to thank members of the Uvalde community for their thoughts and prayers during my ongoing recovery from unexpected medical issues I have experienced in recent weeks,” Smith said.

"After much consultation and prayer, I have decided to resign as Mayor of the City of Uvalde to focus on my health. It has been a great honor to serve the city and community I love" he added.

Mayor Pro-Tem Everardo Zamora will serve until the next mayor is elected on November 5, Smith said.

Shooting casts a shadow

Smith had previously served as mayor from 2008 to 2012. Former Republican mayor Don McLaughlin stepped down last year to run for the Texas House. Smith won a special election for mayor against Kimberly Mata-Rubio, whose daughter was killed in the shooting at Robb Elementary. The city council had a meeting scheduled Tuesday night to discuss the shooting.

The city's controversial report blamed parents who tried to enter the school for interfering with the police, who were described as acting in "good faith" despite communication failures at the top.

"You said they did it in good faith. You call that good faith? They stood there 77 minutes," Mata-Rubio said at a March city council meeting.

The Justice Department released a scathing report in January that blamed Uvalde police for not moving more urgently.

"Had law enforcement agencies followed generally accepted practices in active shooter situations and gone right after the shooter and stopped him, lives would have been saved and people would have survived," Attorney General Merrick Garland said at the time.

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