- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 28, 2020

EUNICE, N.M. (AP) - A city manager of a southeastern New Mexico town who wanted a councilor removed over attendance and for “being rude” is dropping his case.

The Hobbs News-Sun reports the city council of Eunice, New Mexico, will not seek to remove Councilor Terry Bettis from office.

City Manager Jordan Yutzy told the newspaper the decision came after he had a telephone conversation with New Mexico Assistant Attorney General Zack Jones.

Previously, Yutzy sent a letter to the state Attorney General’s office seeking guidance on how to remove Bettis from his seat. Yutzy wrote that the 15-year veteran councilor kept sending critical text messages and social media posts.

Yutzy, in a previous email to the Hobbs News-Sun, sought clarification of statements in an earlier news article, insisting the previous effort to remove Bettis from office was misconstrued as his own.

“(I)t is the City Council looking to remove him from office not the City Manager,” Yutzy had said.

Yutzy also referenced a “manager’s comments” discussion in a December city council meeting during which he said he was working with the city attorney to develop the letter to the Attorney General. During that discussion, Yutzy said, no councilor disagreed with his plans, but one councilman who no longer holds a council seat “verbally praised the actions.”

Bettis most recently won an at-large re-election bid in March 2018, receiving 343 votes. His current term will expire in November 2021.

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