UVALDE, Texas — Pete Arredondo, the police chief for the Texas school district where a mass shooter killed 19 students and two teachers in May, resigned his post on the Uvalde City Council.
Arredondo was sworn in as a councilman in a private ceremony the week after the May 24 shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, KSAT-TV reported. He skipped the first two city council meetings.
Update 5:57 p.m. EDT July 2: City of Uvalde officials said they received confirmation from Arredondo on Saturday afternoon that he had resigned, and said his action was “the right thing to do.”
“While it is the right thing to do, no one from the city has seen a letter or any other documentation of his resignation, or spoken with him,” Uvalde officials said in a statement after the Uvalde Leader-News quoted Arredondo saying he would step down.
The city received a signed letter from Arredondo confirming his resignation hours later, according to The Dallas Morning News.
Original report: “After much consideration, I regret to inform those who voted for me that I have decided to step down as a member of the city council for District 3,” Arredondo told the Uvalde Leader-News on Friday. “The mayor, the city council, and the city staff must continue to move forward without distractions. I feel this is the best decision for Uvalde.”
Arredondo, the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District police chief, was elected to the District 3 council position on May 7 and was sworn into the role on May 31, the newspaper reported.
Arredondo has been on administrative leave from the school district since June 22. He has declined repeated requests for comment from The Associated Press. His attorney, George Hyde, did not immediately respond to emailed requests for comment Saturday.
The city council had the option of considering Arredondo’s seat vacated if he missed three consecutive meetings. His absence Thursday was his third, but since one of the meetings was an emergency council meeting on June 7 it did not count, KSAT reported.
Law enforcement has been widely criticized for the response in Uvalde. Eighty minutes elapsed between the first 911 call and police confronting the 18-year-old shooter, The Dallas Morning News reported.
The Uvalde City Council originally denied a leave of absence to Arredondo, KHOU-TV reported.
Arredondo testified on June 21 in a closed session to a Texas House committee seeking answers to what happened during the mass shooting at the elementary school, CNN reported.
Arredondo told the Texas Tribune that he did not believe he was in charge of the law enforcement response at the school. He added that he assumed someone else had taken control and did not have his police and campus radios, the AP reported. Arredondo said that he used his cellphone to call for tactical gear, a sniper and the classroom keys.
Texas Department of Public Safety Director Col. Steve McCraw added that the police response was “an abject failure.”
During a Texas Senate hearing, McCraw testified that Arredondo made “terrible decisions” as the on-site commander at the school on the day of the shooting, The Associated Press reported.
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