In a little more than a year in office, City Councilwoman Diane Cibrian has earned a reputation as an aggressive and energetic advocate who seeks, not shrinks from, the media spotlight.
Since last Friday, however, the District 8 representative and mayoral hopeful has uncharacteristically refused to answer one direct question:
Shortly after being elected in a 2007 runoff, did she take a trip to Cancún, Mexico, and stay for free in the condominium of local real estate investor Hugo Gutierrez Jr.?
“You've crossed the line into my personal life,” she said in the only on-the-record portion of a more than hour-long meeting Friday. “I'm not answering that question. I'm done with this issue.”
A briefer telephone interview Monday was more of the same. “It is what it is. You're going to write whatever you want. I'm done with this issue.”
Whether or not a city councilwoman stayed in Gutierrez's condo in one of Mexico's hottest tourist destinations is, of course, a smell-test issue, especially if you consider that Gutierrez, at the time of the supposed trip, was fighting to keep the city from applying its tree ordinance to a property he owned in northwest Bexar County.
During the legal battle, which Gutierrez won, Councilwoman Cibrian on at least one occasion discussed the development, called West Pointe, with the city attorney's office.
She also appeared on the Trey Ware show on KTSA this morning to talk about this issue, and she did not sound very mayoral.