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Pablo Martinez - New Mexico LULAC Councils Issue

Pablo Martinez - New Mexico LULAC Councils Issue

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10/30/2013

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1
New Mexico League of United Latin American Citizens
P.O. Box 1324Las Cruces, NM 88004(575) 312-6327
 
Paul “Pablo” A. Martinez
 Immediate Past State Director (2006-2010)
TO: National LULAC Board of DirectorsFROM:
Paul “Pablo” A. Martinez, Immediate
Past NM LULAC State Director DATE: June 13, 2013
RE:
Challenge to Legal Opinion rendered by Mr. Manuel G. Escobar,National LULAC Legal Advisor in the Disqualifications of numerous Arizona Councils 
Please be advised that many of us have reviewed the opinion issued by Mr. Manuel G.Escobar, Esq., on June 12, 2013, regarding the above captioned matter. After carefulreview, many of us could not find any substantive legal arguments germane to the National LULAC Constitution and By-laws to support the veracity of the aforementionedopinion.The entire basis of the disqualification of these Arizona Councils was based on thefollowing:Per Escobar:
“Mr. Zazueta
was
not a member in good standing of the League when hesigned the applications referenced above. He was also not a member ingood standing of the League at the time the applications for either individuals or councils were submitted to the League. The records of theLeague's membership office reflect that Mr. Zazueta's failed to pay his2013 membership dues. As a consequence, and I reiterate, Mr. Zazuetawas not a member in good standing of the League at all times relevant tothis opinion. Because he was not a member in good standing, hissignatures are not effective, and the various applications described abovewere fatally defective.On investigation of the issue presented, I have determined that the Leaguehas followed the above constitutional mandates for at least the entire termsof Past President Belen Robles, Past President Enrique "Rick" Dovalina,Past President Hector Flores, Past President Rosa Rosales and PresidentMargaret Moran. It is believed that the League imposed these samerequirements even before the terms of these past presidents.
 
2For your information, prior to the writing this opinion, I was incommunication with Mr. Zazueta. I requested that he provide anydocuments or other information he wished considered
in connection
withthis issue. Further, additional information from the LULAC membershipoffice was reviewed.Accordingly, it is my opinion that the charters of the newly formedcouncils whose charter applications or whose individual membershipapplications were endorsed or sponsored by Mr. Zazueta were improperly
issued, and are null and void.”
 Our counter arguments are based on both the National LULAC Constitution and By-lawsand substantive law.1. Pursuant to Article VI, Section 8 (b) states:
"A local council may be organized under the sponsorship of an activeCouncil and/or any District, State or National Board of Director officer or any combination of these according to the procedures set forth below..." 
In addition, subsection (b) (1) states:
"A group of not less than ten person ... desirous of forming a LULAC Council shall, on its own initiative or that of one of the possible sponsoring entities, stipulated above, meet and elect officers and otherwise constitute itself into an organized body
;
Mr. Escobar did not provide and Administrative- Constitutional or Written Directives tosupport that an organiz
ing officer must be a LULAC Member or Officer in “goodstanding”. The National LULAC Constitution is moot and silent on this assertion and not
accurate.As stipulated, Article VI, Section 8, subsection (b) (1), a council can form on its owninitiative. This section implies and establishes
 
the status of the council organizer may bean officer at any level (District, State, and National)
or a group of individuals who on their own initiative may, organize a council.
Mr. Escobar did not provide any specific historical or analogous information on past practices on this case and point, other than referring to what was believed to be the casein the previous administrations as alluded to in his opinion. Quite to the contrary, severalcouncils in unchartered states have been allowed to organize without the signature of anorganizing officer and in fact organized on their own volition as indicated above. When I
 
3served on the National Board, several councils in Ohio, Washington and Nevada werecreated without an organizing officer, but the founding member was allowed to sign after the fact. The Board cognizant of this chartered several of these councils. This was during
Hector Flores and Rosa Rosales’ administrations.
2. Miguel Zazueta has been a member in good standing for over ten (10) years. Mr.Zazueta did provide Mr. Brent Wilkes, Ms. Guadalupe Morales and Mr. Manuel Escobar documentation that he sent in dues for his council in February 2013. The National Officeclaims they did not receive it. However, in reviewing his check sequences, most of thosechecked issued for dues; District and State were cashed and the one outstanding or un-reconciled was the one issued to National. He recently issued a stop payment of thatcheck to due the fact that it was not received by the National LULAC Office. This doesgive his claim and version credence. The question is did he act in good faith and is their a reasonable duty owed to Mr. Zazueta as a member of the League?In past practices, I have witnessed several cases that these issues are administrativematters that were corrected by Ms. Morales. This happened in Puerto Rico when I wasState Director. One of my Albuquerque Council
s failed to remit membership dues for one of its members. The Council President acknowledged this and provided proof of membership application and the member in question provided copy of cancelled check issued in January of that year (2009). In good faith, Ms. Morales assisted and the issuewas corrected. Good faith was exercised mutually. The bailment in these cases is thedegree of ordinary care. Both parties must act in good faith. If Mr. Zazueta failed to provide any proof or if in the past has demonstrated a pattern or propensity of deceptionor any form of misrepresentation of the facts, this could give Ms. Morales or Mr. Wilkesreasonable cause to question his credibility. Mr. Zazueta is a former National YouthPresident and always held in high regards, regardless of political inclinations.3. These Councils in question were formed prior to the extension deadline of April 15,2013. There is documentation to prove this with a preponderance of the evidence. TheseCouncils
were issued Charters. Mr. Zazueta’s dues in question are for 2013, which were
due by April 15, 2013. The past practice accepted by National and most states is the postmarking of the extension deadline. When Mr. Zazueta signed on these Councils inquestion, he was in fact a member in good standing. This is c
ontrary to Mr. Escobar’s
summation
on the “good standing”
argument. It would be considered a rebuttal presumption on this fact only, if Mr. Zazueta acted after the deadline. This of course isnot withstanding the arguments enumerated above concerning the issue on the need or requirement of a sponsor?4. The National Office deposited all of the funds for these councils and issued chartersaccordingly. This in most states is considered a contract.Also, this question is considered moot, if these Councils have their Charter and/or Council Numbers. This is pursuant to the aforementioned Subsection (b) (4) of the National LULAC Constitution and By-laws. According to Article II of the Bylaws (pg82):
 

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