City Rep. Joe Molinar was reprimanded by City Council Tuesday for a harassment complaint filed against him, though no other details on the allegation were made public.

After a discussion in executive session, the council voted 6 to 1 to issue Molinar a letter of admonition. City Rep. Isabel Salcido voted against the motion. 

Molinar did not vote on the advice of legal counsel but was present in council chambers during the vote. Molinar declined to comment after the meeting.

The letter of admonition, which has yet to be drafted, will require Molinar to undergo harassment, discrimination and code of conduct training. It’s also expected to stipulate that any further violation could lead to Molinar being removed from committee assignments and leadership roles on council.

He currently serves on the Financial Oversight and Audit Committee and the Employees Retirement Trust Board of Trustees, and as the alternate mayor pro tempore.

The City Council did not disclose the details or the type of harassment charge filed against Molinar. The item on the agenda was listed for discussion and action on “Complaint against (an) elected official.”

Under the City Charter, the City Council would determine the grounds for sanctioning a fellow representative or city official, including possible removal from office. Molinar’s term runs through 2024, and he could run for re-election.

Letters of admonition may be issued when infractions are minor and/or may have been unintentional, but where the circumstances call for a more substantial response than a letter of notification, according to the city’s ethics ordinance.

Molinar, a retired El Paso Police officer, was elected to represent Northeast El Paso in District 4 in December 2020 after defeating former city Rep. Sam Morgan. 

Morgan is awaiting a trial on felony and misdemeanor charges for domestic violence stemming from 2019.

The City Council at that time opted to allow Morgan to finish his term since he had not been convicted. Efforts to censure Morgan were also dropped by the City Council in February of 2020.

Elida S. Perez is a senior reporter for El Paso Matters. Her experience includes work as city government watchdog reporter for the El Paso Times, investigative reporter for El Paso Newspaper Tree and communities...