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Cathedral City looks to move forward after mayor pro tem's arrest

Cathedral City looks to move forward after mayor pro tem's arrest

CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. - Jens Mueller, a 20-year resident of Cathedral City, was shocked to see Mayor Pro Tem Chuck Vasquez sitting behind his name tag and beside the city council at Wednesday's meeting.

"Why he's still sitting there? I don't know," said Mueller.

Mueller says the public trust was violated after the 57-year-old council member was arrested earlier this month.

Investigators say Vasquez is accused of using money, on several different occasions, from the city's Employee Computer Loan Program for his own personal purchases from August 2011 to December 2012. That's when the district attorney discovered Vasquez used more than $2,000 in prepaid MasterCard gift cards.

"That doesn't sit well with me. You stole public funds. That's grounds for dismissal. He needs to resign," said Mueller.

Vasquez emailed us the following statement:

"This will all be cleared up, I will come through this and I will continue doing what I'm doing.  I will continue being on council and I have no intention of resigning. I will come out victorious on the other side of this. It's just a matter of time. I've been committed to this city for over 3 decades and I don't plan on stopping."

As for Mueller, who ran for City Council last November, he warns Cathedral City has been through enough.

"Our budget hasn't balanced, there've been layoffs and furloughs and this is just another black eye for a city a who doesn't need it," he said.

Mueller says he appreciates some of Vasquez's work, but says for the good of the city it's time to move forward.

"Now, he's done some good things for the city. He's in charge of neighborhood watch programs, but now it's time to go," said Mueller.

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