Public health director suing city after receiving $200,000 in overtime

Public Health Director Annette Rodriguez is suing city officials for allegedly paying her unfairly. Apparently, Annette Rodriguez wants to continue receiving the overtime she received in 2020-2021 totaling $200,000, while working from home. County Judge Barbara Canales supported the gross overtime pay. Why is Annette Rodriguez suing individuals at the City of Corpus Christi and not the Health District partnership, Nueces County and the City of Corpus Christi? Instead Rodriguez is suing city employees that have no individual power over the Health District and who have sovereign immunity. Why isn’t Annette Rodriguez suing the person who has claimed to have the controlling power over the Health District, Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales, her direct boss at the Health District?

Because Barbara Canales is believed to be behind the entire mess and supporting Annette Rodriguez’ lawsuit over the Corpus Christi taxpayers, who are now stuck with the mounting legal bills. Meanwhile, the City of Corpus Christi is opening their own Health Department, separating from Nueces County, and Annette Rodriguez will have to reapply for the job. The only problem is she is currently suing her new potential employer. Who is going to pay for this?

It was late last year that the Nueces County Commissioners removed County Judge Barbara Canales as lead negotiator over the Health District separation. Canales is believed to be have single-handedly destroyed the 40 year relationship with the City of Corpus Christi and continues to lash out against city.

Insiders are saying Barbara Canales used her emergency powers like a dictator, making important decisions without the consent of her fellow County Commissioners. In response and in a huge political blow, County Commissioners unanimously replaced Barbara Canales in Health Department negotiations. The Commissioner’s also sent a formal request to the Attorney General asking for an opinion on Barbara Canales’ usage of temporary emergency powers.

Commissioner Brent Chesney has objected to continuing to pay overtime to exempt Annette Rodriguez saying the costs have been excessive to the taxpayer. The top City Management team, including the City Manager, have not receive overtime pay. County Commissioners, including Brent Chesney, Joe A. “JAG” Gonzalez, and Robert Hernandez are refusing to continuing to pay the astounding overtime and gross expenditures including meals that County Judge Barbara Canales has approved. Readers may recall the Crónica busted open a story about tens of thousands of dollars in meal expenditures Canales approved with many appearing unaccounted for during this time. We wondered aloud, did Canales take any of the “missing meals” home?

The Crónica would like to extend an opportunity for County Judge Barbara Canales to clear the air in a New Year’s column right here, which we will publish in its entirety. Our question now: why is our very own Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales supporting a lawsuit against the Corpus Christi taxpayers?