The Tuesday evening DeSoto City Council meeting had two separate items listed to be covered in Executive Session. One was to convene into Executive Session pursuant to Section 551.074 of the Texas Government Code to hear and deliberate (1) complaints made against Mayor Rachel Proctor as it relates to an alleged violation of the City Charter Article II, Section 3, regarding residency requirements; (2) receipt of City revenues associated with Mayor’s Office events; and (3) alleged conflicts of interest.
After an executive session during Tuesday evening’s DeSoto City Council meeting, Mayor Pro-Tem Andre Byrd addressed citizens with the following (in part – the beginning of Mr. Byrd’s statement was not recorded and presented online) statement: “The Mayor later received a loan from a bank that the developers brothers worked at. The mayor did purchase her home from that developer but does not have a loan from that bank. After consultation with the city attornies these items do not meet the definition of conflict of interest and these items were found unfounded.”
Byrd continued, “The third allegation is that the mayor did not live in her home prior to running for her first term as mayor in 2021. The council has not found any information to confirm that the mayor did not live as she indicated on her filing paperwork for the mayor’s office. Furthermore, there is no allegation that she currently is ineligible to hold office in her second term as mayor that was won on May 2022. That item is not substantiated.”
Mayor Rachel Proctor then responded with her own statement regarding the allegations. “I would like to make a statement in regard to the baseless allegations that were made and obviously goes without saying that I take my reputation very seriously. I did respond to the baseless claims within the time frame that was given by those investigating the claims and I would like to share just to reiterate that all the allegations claiming that I personally benefited from an event, had improper business dealings with a developer, and a bank and didn’t meet residency requirements in the 2021 special election are all false.”
“As another matter of fact, the individual who made the claims, presented no credible evidence to support the claims that they made. Moreover, the claims made against me, challenging my residency in 2021, please understand that even if the claims were valid, and they are not, the proper time to challenge that would have been in that election. I’ve been elected and re-elected very decisively, might I add at this point, and there was no credible evidence presented to support such a claim.”
“Moreover, the individual who has made these claims, who has also … being anonymous at this point in terms of the fraud line by way of email … they’ve been unresponsive to requests from media and … to meet in person to substantiate their claims which further casts doubt about the true identity of the person making these baseless claims. And the timing of the accusations made against me is very interesting.”
“As Mayor, from day one, I’ve vowed to work tirelessly for our residents and I will not let distractions nor blatant lies keep me remaining focused on the business of this city. I’m confident that the true origin of these baseless allegations and these emails will be confirmed in the coming days and that information will be shared with the public at that time.”
Editor’s Note: Focus Daily News received an email from an individual sharing concerns and allegations about Mayor Proctor. FDN contacted Mayor Proctor and asked her about the concerns and allegations. Following this conversation, we received a letter from an attorney retained by the Mayor stating she had a claim against the individual for “libel, slander, defamation, and/or tortious interference with business relations,” and had sent a cease and desist letter to the individual. Furthermore, they stated the Mayor had “no further comment in response to the questions you posed to her in your email dated February 1, 2023.”
It was moved and seconded to adjourn at 11:08 pm Tuesday evening.
In an earlier executive session held the same evening discussing an Economic Development Deliberation regarding creation of the Project Memorandum of Understanding for Project Rose. After that session Mayor Pro-Tem Andre Byrd moved to authorize the City Manager to negotiate and execute an LOI for the Hampton Road Corridor Master Development with Catalist Urban Development, LLC. The motion was seconded by Councilmember Hughes. It then passed by a margin of 6-1.