The Uvalde City Council unanimously voted to deny newly elected Councilman Pete Arredondo a leave of absence Tuesday night, as the fallout of the Robb Elementary School shooting from May 24 in Texas, continued.
The tragedy resulted in the deaths of 19 children and two adults.
Arredondo also holds the title of police chief for the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District.
In the past month, Arredondo and Uvalde police have been the subjects of intense scrutiny from local, state, and federal officials regarding the department's conduct in handling the suspected gunman, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos.
Earlier on Tuesday, during a Texas House hearing on the Uvalde incident, Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw said Ramos could have been neutralized at the school within minutes, if Arredondo — designated as the on-scene incident commander — had instructed the other officers to breach two classrooms where the children and teachers were waiting for help.
In a previous interview with the Texas Tribune, Arredondo claimed he didn't know he was the on-scene incident commander at the time.
McCraw labeled the law enforcement response to the Uvalde shooting as "an abject failure."
Also, since last month's shooting at Robb Elementary School, Arredondo has reportedly not attended any Uvalde council meetings in an official capacity.
Hi absence might jeopardize his position. On Wednesday, one national media outlet implied the Uvalde City Council has the power to remove Arredondo from his council position, after three consecutive unexcused absences.
That statement has yet to be confirmed by Uvalde officials.
At Tuesday's meeting, family members of the shooting victims spoke out against granting Arredondo a leave of absence.
Some even called for Arredondo's resignation from the council.
And according to WFAA-TV in Dallas/Ft. Worth, one Uvalde council member apparently suggested it's time for Arredondo to publicly face a Uvalde community that has "passionately asked for transparency and action" during this ordeal.
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