“People did die…we couldn’t save everybody,” said a stone-face Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales on February 24, 2021, in Commissioner’s Court, addressing the aftermath of the Texas Winter Storm. She went on to say, “It was incredibly gut wrenching to know that ALL of our hospitals were failing because we couldn’t get potable water.” The only problem was? She was lying. When she added, “by the way” like people dying was an afterthought, we knew something was up. What was she really doing in her incredibly dangerous statement? She was trying to finger the City of Corpus Christi as some sort of water depriving, murdering, local government. But like my high school buddy says about his four year old, if she’s talking, she’s lying. And everyone at the hospital district she oversees and we spoke too, agreed, Barbara Canales was lying. One after one, the leaders of the hospital said privately and then publicly, in essence, what the hell is she talking about? No one died.
County Judge Barbara Canales’ statements made the hospitals look dangerous and unprepared in an emergency. City leaders were perplexed. They too made it clear that no one died. But Canales didn’t stop there, she droned on and on, as she is known to do to Commissioners, telling them, “…our hospitals were failing.” Full stop. County Judge Canales told Commissioners that all of our hospital systems were failing and she didn’t tell the public? Did she call for an immediate investigation? Did she call for an emergency hearing? Did she call the Governor or the Feds and tell them our hospital system failed and people died? Nope. She actually said, “people died by the way, we couldn’t save everyone.” It was such a bizarre statement, the Crónica didn’t know what to make of this.
And neither did the City of Corpus Christi who supplies the water to the region. After Barbara Canales’ lying claims went viral, the City Manager Peter Zanoni was forced to tell local media that the County Judge was lying and no hospital even called the city to say that their water pressure was low, causing people to die. Official State numbers also proved she was lying. So why does the Crónica care? Because we don’t want our hospitals to fail because of a lack of water and because it establishes the pattern of lying by Barbara Canales. Instead of saying, “I was wrong, given incorrect data, or blaming staff like most elected officials do, Canales took to lying and kept lying. And we think she lied on purpose to make the city and hospitals look bad and paint herself as a water-giving hero. “But, we saved as many as we could,” she said in Commissioner’s Court. Except that wasn’t true either.
At the Corpus Christi Crónica we don’t believe a word the County Judge says, but here’s what we know to be true. Barbara Canales appoints Port Commissioners and they hired Port CEO Sean Strawbridge and now they are paying Barbara Canales’ “common law” husband Doug Allison almost a million bucks as “outside” legal counsel. The Port receives our state and federal tax dollars and Canales appoints the Port Commissioners who hired her “common law” husband—ready for this? Sean Strawbridge hired Doug Allison after Canales was elected and in the position to make Port appointments. Is it okay that a million dollars of Port of Corpus Christi money is poised to go straight into lyin’ Canales and Allison’s household? Now, a few of their employees are posting that what the Crónica is saying is not true. Except it is, and they are also saying this is going to “blow over.” But what they don’t know is the difference between the “main stream” media and social media. We have the time and the space to call it out as much and as long as we want to. So as long as Barbara Canales keeps lying to citizens and a million bucks is poised to go into her household via a public entity she appoints to, we are going to keep blowing the whistle.
Watch Barbara Canales lie in Commissioner’s Court here: