Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Vote Fraud Cases Dismissed

The day after he wins re-election, Hidalgo County District Attorney Rene Guerra asks the judge to drop the charges against two people indicted in last summer's voter fraud case in McAllen.

One of them is Othal Brand Jr., who managed his dad's 2005 campaign for mayor. The other is Jose "Joey" Eliseo Lopez, a politiquero. According to The Monitor:

Judge Rose Guerra Reyna, of the 206th state District Court, dismissed those charges Wednesday at the request of Hidalgo County’s top prosecutor, longtime District Attorney Rene Guerra, who made an unusual courtroom appearance to personally make the request for dismissal.
Guerra tells KURV 710 Talk Radio the cases had to go
"because I do not have a firm belief that I can prosecute either one on those charges. The recordings that were publicized were of such quality that I could not determine who was the solicitor and who was being solicited."
Big surprise. Guerra's never been slow to offer excuses when it comes to avoiding high-profile cases.

Now I'm glad to see the charge against Brand go away, seeing as how he videotaped the whole thing at the behest of the Texas Rangers. But then Guerra sinks the charges against Lopez, who was caught on that tape promising votes for money. And the DA does this AFTER the election. Now that his job is secure.

Frankly, it's a little insulting. Most politicians would wait at least a month or so, in order to keep it from looking so obvious to voters.

But what does Guerra care? He can coast to retirement now, and if we don't like it, too bad.

Lopez still faces a theft charge in relation to the scandal, and eight others still face charges as well.


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