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Mayor of South Tucson reappointed to 7th term

Citizen Staff

Citizen Staff Report


South Tucson Mayor Shirley Villegas was selected by the City Council to serve another two-year term.

Villegas was unanimously reappointed mayor for the seventh time during last night’s council meeting.

She then re-appointed John Garcia as vice mayor.

Council members are elected to four-year terms and select a mayor every two years.

The council also reappointed Fernando Castro as city manager and Sixto Molina as police chief.

Villegas, 54, was first appointed mayor by the council in 1991.

She was appointed to the City Council in 1978 and has been re-elected to the council six times.

In December, a former South Tucson city employee, who claims he was forced to resign to end sexual harassment by Villegas, filed a $2 million claim against the city, its council and Villegas.

According to the claim, Frank Romero, 40, rose from a public works crew member in July 2000 to a special projects coordinator, then a “building safety administrator and/or community development resource coordinator and inspector” during the next year.

During this time, Romero alleges, he began a sexual relationship with Villegas. When he ended the relationship in May 2002, Romero claims, Villegas resorted to threats and bribes to keep the liaison going.

The status of the claim is unknown at this time.

Castro also was named in the claim. Romero said in the claim he told the city manager of the mayor’s harassment and that Castro “acknowledged that the conduct of Mayor Villegas constituted harassment.”

Castro has since denied that the situation was brought to his attention.

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