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JUDGE: 'AG love letter unfortunate,' Mayor calls it political stunt

COVID 19 Update 5/12/19 (City of SA Photo)
COVID 19 Update 5/12/19 (City of SA Photo)
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SAN ANTONIO - Local leaders responded to what County Judge Nelson Wolff called a 'love letter' from Attorney General Ken Paxton.

Paxton sent a letter to both Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Wolff Tuesday, along with other Texas leaders, saying their local orders were 'unlawful' and not in accordance with the governor's orders.

RELATED: State says San Antonio pandemic orders unlawful

"The mayor and I received a love letter from the attorney general today [Tuesday], criticizing the safety measures that we have put in place to save people's lives here in San Antonio. " Wolff said.

Nirenberg addressed the issues, saying they never had an issue with the governor and have been in full compliance with Gov. Greg Abbott's orders. He added there are no plans to change anything because of the letter.

"The orders are already compliant with the governor's orders, they always have been," Nirenberg said. "So, we'll be revising orders as it pertains to the guidance here locally, but not because of the letter."

City of San Antonio attorney Andrew Segovia said the localized orders fall in line with the governor's orders and in some cases even mimic them. Segovia said the city and county orders follow the house of worship orders, social distancing orders and mask orders from the governor, all of which are cited as unlawful in Paxton's letter.

"The good news is, despite the hyperbole you see in the letter, there are no inconsistencies between our local orders and the governor's order," Segovia said.

"I don't know where this came from," Wolff said. "I don't know how it originated, I don't know why they're criticizing us, I don't know why they're saying we're doing things that are inappropriate, I just don't know why this happened, but it's unfortunate. Because there's a lot of mixed signals about what he's writing here, a lot of mixed signals citizens ought to be doing."

Wolff said they will be planning to respond to the letter soon but claim everything they have done has helped to keep San Antonio safe during the pandemic. The mayor said they aren't too worried about the letter, but the fact it was sent is not surprising.

"This is not unlike what we've seen from the AG's office recently, in terms of firing off a political letter like this," Nirenberg said. "So, on the merits, we're not concerned, but it doesn't stop the AG from seeking a cheap, political headline."

The city and county both released the following statement, which you can read below.

"In an effort to facilitate our work for the common good through common goals, please call our offices directly," the letter states. "There is no need for a press release to discuss concerns you may have."

Both also said they have studies showing they have "likely saved more than 8,000 lives through our measures."

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