Uvalde mayor resigns citing health issues in wake of controversial report on 2022 school shooting


FILE - Uvalde mayoral candidate Cody Smith gestures toward a voter waiting in a long line outside of the SSGT Willie de Leon Civic Center on Election Day, Nov. 7, 2023, in Uvalde, Texas. On Monday, April 1, 2024, Smith, now mayor of Uvalde, resigned from his position effective immediately, leaving his post empty the same week the city’s police chief is expected to step down. (Sam Owens/The San Antonio Express-News via AP, File)

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — City of Uvalde Mayor Cody Smith has resigned effective immediately, vacating his post the same week the police chief of the small Texas city is expected to depart, two years after one of deadliest school shootings in U.S. history.

Smith said in a statement Monday that he needed to focus on his health and thanked the Uvalde community for its support during his ongoing recovery from recent “unexpected health issues.” He did not elaborate.

The decision comes weeks after an independent report commissioned by the city defended the actions of local officers during the botched response by nearly 400 local, state and federal law enforcement officials to the May 2022 Robb Elementary School shooting that left 21 people dead.

Uvalde City Council members were expected to meet Tuesday afternoon and could discuss the report in a private session. Last week, the meeting was postponed with officials citing concerns for the mayor’s health.

Smith’s announcement follows a recent announcement by Uvalde Police Chief Daniel Rodriguez that he would be stepping down effective April 6 after the city’s report found no wrongdoing by local officers who waited over an hour to confront the teen gunman armed with an AR-15 style weapon.

Rodriguez, who was on vacation during the deadly Robb Elementary School shooting, said in a letter last month submitting his resignation that it was time for a new chapter in his career. He made no reference to the mass shooting.

The controversial report was authored by private investigator Jesse Prado, an Austin-based investigator and former police detective, who was paid $97,000 for the independent investigation, according to city council records.

Last month, Prado presented the findings of the report in a special city council meeting, prompting eruptions of anger from victims’ families and community members.