The síndico procurador served as the city attorney of a Spanish municipality. He acted as a voting member of the ayuntamiento, the town council. The regidors, or councilmen, elected the síndico from among the town citizens. The office could, however, like other municipal offices, be sold to the highest bidder. The duties of the síndico procurador varied from town to town, since formal instructions for the position were never clearly stated. Spanish and Mexican officials relied on tradition to determine the responsibilities of the office. In general, the síndico served as the official notary as well as principal legal advisor of a municipality. Additionally, he played a role in public security. He supervised the building of fires, the proper upkeep of city lots, and the prevention of public gambling. He also shared with the ayuntamiento the responsibility for weights and measures and the collection of municipal funds. The síndico procurador's chief legal duty was to serve as general counsel to the city. He represented the town in business affairs, acted as principal negotiator, and represented his area before the audiencia. He also ensured that local officials observed municipal ordinances and performed their duties. Although land grants were the responsibility of the regidors and the alcalde, the town's chief executive, the síndico was to be present when grants were made. He did not vote at such meetings, but he was expected to voice his opinion and see that the grants were distributed fairly. The Spanish Constitution of 1812, which significantly altered many local institutions, did little to change the office of the síndico procurador. However, for the first time, all ayuntamientos were required to have an attorney. After Mexican independence, Anglo-Americans in Texas continued to elect officials in the same manner as their Spanish predecessors.
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- Spanish Texas
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Geoffrey Pivateau, “Sindico Procurador,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed November 23, 2020, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/sindico-procurador.
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.