‘It’s time for a change’: SA City Council members blast lead attorney for ‘untimely, inaccurate’ legal advice

Andy Segovia has served in the position since 2016.

SAN ANTONIO — A coalition of five City Council members – amounting to half of San Antonio’s chief governing body – is seeking a meeting to “discuss suitability” of Andy Segovia, who has served as head of the city’s legal office since 2016. 

The meeting is being pursued by council members Melissa Cabello Havrda of District 6; Marina Alderete-Gavito of District 7; Teri Castillo of District 5; Jalen McKee-Rodriguez of District 2; and Marc Whyte of District 10. Speaking about their concerns from the steps of City Hall on Thursday afternoon, the representatives claimed Segovia has repeatedly provided inconsistent information while impeding or blocking progress on council business. 

One council member, Cabello Havrda, explicitly said she wants Segovia gone from the position he’s held for eight years. 

“I’m speaking for myself: It’s time for a replacement,” she said. 

The five leaders have sent a memo to City Manager Erik Walsh seeking a meeting next week to discuss Segovia’s “suitability” in the job, writing “it is imperative that we have full confidence in his ability to executive his duties with diligence and effectiveness.”

“Regrettably,” the memo goes on to say, “it is evident that this confidence has been compromised.” 

‘A breaking point’

The five council members, whose experience on the body ranges from five years to 11 months, pointed to recent conversations about local firefighters’ collective bargaining agreement, due to expire on Dec. 31, as a tipping point. 

According to the council members, they were told some of those conversations couldn’t happen publicly. But when they requested closed-door meetings to discuss the subject, they claim Segovia “intervened and attempted to block us from having that conversation.”

“I’m disappointed we were not taken into executive session despite multiple requests from City Council members,” Castillo said on Thursday. “We can’t make data-driven decision on this negotiation if we’re not given full data.”

Whyte called it a “sad, sad day for the City of San Antonio” before claiming Segovia has “worked with city staff and the mayor on too many occasions to block transparency” over the last year, since he’s been in office. 

“This has been going on for some time, but it reached a breaking point this week,” he added. 

The five council members, in their memo to the city manager, asked for a meeting to discuss Segovia’s job performance on May 15 “or at the earliest possible alternative date.”

Nirenberg, meanwhile, 

said via a statement to KENS 5 that the memo was “a surprise to everyone.” 

“We won’t solve budget issues on the City Hall steps or by attacking city officials,” the mayor added before emphasizing his confidence and support in Segovia. “(He) has exhibited nothing but professionalism, candor and judiciousness in his time as our city attorney.

Segovia leads an office with 50-plus lawyers, having been hired to serve as city attorney in 2016, according to his bio page. A graduate of UT and Texas A&M, he previously worked on the legal staff of General Motors for 26 years. 

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