Skip to Content

City of El Paso hires new Department of Public Health director who resigned from Ft. Worth-area post

Update: Deputy City Manager Mario D’Agostino provided ABC-7 with a statement about Taneja's hiring today.

"Dr. Taneja was formally hired by Interim City Manager Cary Westin, this is standard protocol for all new directors. The City of El Paso is aware of the accusations against Dr. Taneja during his time at the Tarrant County Public Health Department, but these accusations were not substantiated and were thoroughly discussed during the hiring process. He was selected because he has more than two decades of experience spanning local, regional, and state levels in public health expertise and he has a proven track record in public health leadership that led to Tarrant County Public Health being honored as the Large Local Health Department of the Year in 2017 by the National Association of County and City Health Officials.

Dr. Taneja is still completing the onboarding process. His salary details can be made available via the Open Records Request process once he is officially a City employee in August. We will also work to make Dr. Taneja available for interviews once he is settled in his position and has had time to familiarize himself with his new role."

Deputy City Manager Mario D’Agostino

Update: A Tarrant County spokesperson says Taneja was hired as public health director on September 15, 2014 and that he resigned on February 7, 2024. His salary was $233,099, according to the spokesperson.

Update: WFAA, the ABC affiliate in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area, is reporting that Taneja resigned from his position with the Tarrant County health department at the beginning of this year.

WFAA reports that Taneja's resignation happened 24 hours after the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported on a complaint made against Taneja in 2021.

WFAA reports that the complaint alleged Taneja and another leader created a "toxic and hostile work environment."

The Tarrant County commissioners were supposed to discuss the matter in a closed-door meeting the day Taneja resigned, WFAA reported in February. The county immediately launched the search process for a new director.

ABC-7 has reached out to a City of El Paso spokesperson and Tarrant County for comment. We have also requested an interview with Taneja and with Interim City Manager Cary Westin.

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- Dr. Veerinder "Vinny" Taneja is the new director of the City of El Paso's Department of Public Health.

Taneja will take over in August. He previously served as Health Director of Fort Worth's Tarrant County Public Health.

"With over two decades of experience spanning local, regional, and state levels, Dr. Taneja brings a wealth of knowledge and leadership to his new role in El Paso," a city spokesperson stated Friday.

Current City-County Health Authority Dr. Hector Ocaranza, who has served as the department's interim director since May 2022, will continue in his role as the city-county health authority.

“Dr. Taneja's extensive background and proven track record in public health leadership make him an invaluable addition to our city,” said Interim City Manager Cary Westin. “His dedication to community health and innovative approaches will undoubtedly advance our efforts to enhance public health outcomes across El Paso."

Article Topic Follows: El Paso

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo



KVIA ABC 7 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content