The embattled police chief of the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District has resigned from the Uvalde City Council just a week after the council declined to grant him a leave of absence.
Pete Arredondo, under withering fire for the police response to the massacre of 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School on May 24, has already skipped two city council meetings since he was sworn in to the post in secret on May 31. The council can consider a member has vacated a post after he or she misses three meetings.
Earlier this month, the city council unanimously denied Arredondo’s request for a leave of absence, and school superintendent Hal Harrell put him on administrative leave from his post as chief of the school police, as CrimeOnline previously reported.
“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. 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 told the Uvalde Leader-News on Friday.
State officials, in particular, have been hard on Arredondo, with Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw calling the chief’s response “wrong” and an “abject failure.”
Arredondo has denied state officials’ contention that he was the incident commander when 18-year-old Salvador Ramos entered the school and opened fire, although transcripts of police radio conversations show local officers waiting for orders from someone to go into the classroom where Ramos was — and some of them specifically said they were waiting for Arredondo.
In the end, police officers waited for more than an hour outside the double classroom where the massacre took place before a US Border Patrol tactical team went in and killed the shooter.
Arredondo was elected to the city council on May 7.
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[FILE – A campaign sign for Pete Arredondo, the chief of police for the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District, hangs on a fence in Uvalde, Texas Monday, May 30, 2022. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)]