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Demolition company taking heat over Duranguito says it did nothing wrong

ABC-7 reached out to the El Paso Company contracted to do demolitions of Duranguito properties.

The owner of JMR demolition told ABC-7 his company did nothing wrong when it started to demolish buildings Tuesday morning, upsetting protesters.

Jesse Robles III, who owns JMR Demolition, a 12 year-old local company, referred ABC-7 to his attorney when contacted Wednesday morning. Robles III said his company did nothing illegal when it started demolition in Duranguito.

Mannie Kalman, the attorney for JMR Demolition, pointed out the demolition Tuesday morning that knocked holes in some of the buildings in Duranguito was in accordance with a contract between JMR and a private property owner.

Kalman said the emergency injunction granted to historian Max Grossman on Monday applied to the City, but not the property owners. The City of El Paso Tuesday acknowledged the emergency order granted Monday did not list the property owners. Regardless, the City reached out to the attorney representing the property owners to ask that they comply with the order.

A second amended emergency order was issued Tuesday by the 8th Court of Appeals, suspending demolition permits and effectively brought demolition to a halt.

Kalman said JMR employees took a lot of heat from protestors Tuesday morning. He maintains the entire time they were on site, it was to work pursuant to an appropriate order and an appropriate contract.

“Once the emergency orders were issued, they ceased and desisted,” Kalman said. “They’re trying to act in accordance with anything that the courts do. That matter is presently before the 8th Court of Appeals. I know the City has filed documents saying the injunctive relief never extended to any third parties that were never named and that was pointed out on a number of occasions.”

There were reports Wednesday morning that JMR Demolition had returned to Duranguito. Both Robles and Kalman told ABC-7 that was not true and that it was not JMR on site. Kalman said they have not been there since the second amended emergency order was filed.

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