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El Paso Zoological Society holds news conference in response to ongoing conflicts with the city

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- The El Paso Zoological Society will hold a news conference on Friday, May 31, at 4 p.m. to speak about recent statements made by the City after they filed two complaints and one claim.

ABC-7 reached out the City of El Paso ahead of this news conference and received a statement from Laura Cruz-Acosta, a spokesperson with the City, which read:

"The City very respectfully declines to continue to reiterate the facts. We have previously provided all the information relevant to this issue allowing the public to fact check and draw informed conclusions. All the information and communication are posted on our City website, under the ‘Latest Updates’ link. Thank you."

Pam Agullo, board president of the Zoological Society, said during the news conference that the lawsuit filed against the City had a purpose and it was in relation to their licensing agreement expiring.

“The lawsuit, and just to clarify, asks the court to determine the rights and obligations to both parties," said Agullo.

The Society said during the news conference that they used to reimburse the City since giving funds directly to the City was never clearly outlined in their contract.

“The language of the contract states, the society shall spend or the society shall use. So the society has never transferred funds directly to the city," said Agullo.

Despite not being able to mention how much money the Society has in funds due to ongoing litigation, the Society claimed the money from memberships is not tax-payer money.

“Members purchase a membership to the society and when they fill out their application, they are communicated that with their purchase. Those funds will be used for conservation through the society for the Zoo," said Agullo.

The Society also mentioned during the news conference that one of their major donors pulled their donation of $500,000 when they learned about actions taken by city council on the ongoing conflict.

Article Topic Follows: El Paso

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Tony Gutierrez


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