The 2016 Wichita Falls Mayoral race has become one of the most heated local elections in quite some time.

Last week, District 4 Councilor Tim Ingle, one of the two candidates in the mayor’s race, stated during a television interview that fellow councilor and mayoral candidate Stephen Santellana may have had a conflict of interest in a recent vote to award a city contract.

Ingle stated that a business relationship between Santellana and Wichita Falls businessman Chad Wilson was not revealed to councilors before a vote in which a contract was awarded to a different company owned by Wilson. Santellana and Wilson entered into a partnership in January of this year, Summit GC.

Santellana contends that, according to the city attorney’s office, since the company has yet to do any work or generate any revenue, the business relationship between the pair does not violate any laws nor preclude him (Santellana) from voting on the contract in question.

Wilson, who has multiple DWI convictions, was again sentenced to probation by 89th District Judge Charlie Barnard on October 21st, even though he had violated his previous probation and could have faced up to five years in prison. The Wichita County DA’s office was publicly critical of Barnard’s decision. It’s notable that Santellana’s brother-in-law, Dobie Kosub, is an assistant district attorney in Wichita County. Santellana stated that Kosub works in a different division of the DA’s office that had no input on the prosecution of Wilson.

Ingle walked back some of his criticism last weekend, stating that while Santellana did not violate the law, he still questions the ethical nature of a councilor voting to award a bid to friend, much less a business partner. Ingle appeared on ‘Wake Up Call’ this week to discuss the issue and his vision for the future of Wichita Falls.

Watch the interview with Tim Ingle in the player above, and Stephen Santellana below.

More From Newstalk 1290