The mayor of Richardson is stepping down.
Laura Maczka wrote on Facebook page Thursday she wants to focus on her professional career, family, and her health. But a group of upset Richardson residents say she is resigning amid a scandal that merits an official investigation.
Mayor Maczka's resignation traces back to the rezoning of a project called Palisades in north Richardson. In December of 2013, the mayor voted to turn a vacant lot into a mixed use development which will ultimately include more than one thousand apartments or condo units.
That vote came despite her campaign pledge opposing multi-family projects in Richardson under her watch. But residents near the Palisades development were outraged when they say she went back on her pledge.
"It's a very suspicious coincidence that the timelines are matching up in the way they are," said Richardson homeowner Jay Hawkins.
Hawkins' neighbors Thursday learned that mayor Maczka decided to step down and not run for another two year term which would begin in May. She was unopposed in the upcoming election. Re-election was guaranteed.
What upset neighbors the most came on March 19, when the mayor filed a conflict of interest form disclosing a business relationship with Mark Jordan of J.P. Realty Partners, where she has just accepted a job as a leasing, marketing and communications specialist.
Mark Jordan is the developer of the Palisades project that has the homeowners so upset: the project she supported against their will.
"I think once a project is awarded and a public figure goes to work for that developer we need to make sure everyone is on the up and up," said Hawkins. "This doesn't pass the smell test, not right now anyway."
Mayor Maczka started her job with Jordan April 1. The next day, she posted her resignation on her Facebook page citing a decision made after prayer and based on the needs of her health and family.
Maczka is newly divorced and told News 8 her financial situation forced her to seek employment and the job at J.P. Realty Partners just opened up. She says she had no affiliation with Jordan at the time she voted for his development.
Still, residents say they suspect there is more to the story and they are asking the city attorney to open an investigation into her actions. Mayor Maczka will serve for another month until her term expires. The new council will then appoint a new mayor pro-tem among the existing city council who would then fill the vacant seat to serve the two-year term as mayor.