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Three Legged Monkey owner says city emails prove corruption

By Ashlie Rodriguez, Reporter
Published On: Dec 04 2012 11:24:51 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 25 2012 05:55:34 PM CST
EL PASO, Texas -

Chucoleaks.org is once again revealing some of City Manager Joyce Wilson's emails, and in this case it's Three Legged Monkey Owner Mike Armstrong who is taking issue with them.

These emails come from some of the thousands the city surrendered after requests by Attorney Stephanie Townsend Allala, who posted them online. ABC-7 also requested some of those emails. Armstrong says the emails prove the city is purposely trying to shut him down.

The Three Legged Monkey Facebook page is calling it a "political corruption must read," with a link to about 40 emails involving city officials discussing the East El Paso Bar.

"In those documents there's some emails from the assistant police chief regarding Three Legged Monkey and the efforts the city has undergone to try to close my business down," Armstrong said. 

Owner Mike Armstrong is referring to assistant police chief Jerome Johnson. In one email conversation in April 2009, Johnson writes to Deputy Chief Eric Shelton,
"I saw Mark today and he said that TABC is working on closing the club down. Do you want narco to work this club or just TABC continue with what they are doing?"
And Shelton replies, "if we can get narco to make buys all the better."

Scroll down a bit and the reader can see this conversation is preceded by an email from police Supervisor Kyle Summers saying he found no narcotics activity or alcohol violations.

"Assistant Chief Shelton was directing the narcotics unit to go ahead and try to get drugs to be purchased in order to use that as a reason to close the establishment," Armstrong said. " In tens years of business I have no violations. So when they go ahead and say something like that, there's no validity, there's no proof."

In another email, Shelton writes Police Chief Gregory Allen, "I'm not trying to be argumentative but we continue to deploy resources to the bar for no other reason then to appease a few people. This is beginning to effect other operations...."

"He points out that it's a complete waste of services, the amount of time and dedication that the police department is using to appease higher-ups," Armstrong said. " I think its a direct result of Joyce Wilson and that she controls the chief of police and other department heads. And at her will, she can tell them to do whatever she wants them to do, whether its a waste of taxpayers dollars, whether its deceiving the public -- it's Joyce Wilson's will."

Wilson's will, Armstrong tells me, is to buy the Hawkins shopping center which is on city land, but owned by Patriot Place business. Armstrong says he has reason to believe the city wants to turn the area into a resort hotel. The only problem, Armstrong has a 15 year lease.

"Now it's a basically a real estate deal," Armstrong said. "They're saying Mike Armstrong,  Three Legged Monkey, we don't have a contract with you. We have a contract with the center, we want to buy the whole center. And the stipulation the city is laying forth, they're basically telling the shopping center, the only way we're going to buy that center is if you kick out  Three Legged Monkey. Its just disgusting."

Armstrong, says he's been bombarded by unnecessary city service checks since 2005. He's complied with all of them, but  now he's in bankruptcy, hoping the move will protect him from eviction.


"I'm awake now," Armstrong said. "I guess I was naive. I thought things like this happened in other countries or you see this in a movie. But the fact is El Pasoans need to wake up and realize that they are being deceived that there are side deals that are happening and its corruption collusion and cronyism."
 

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