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More legal issues continue to plague Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo as a criminal complaint has been filed and referred to the Texas Rangers for investigation just a day after meeting with Vice President Harris.
The complaint stems from a press conference that Hidalgo held on Nov. 10, the day after news broke that the Texas Rangers would be executing search warrants in relation to an $11 million COVID-19 vaccine outreach contract the county awarded to a highly connected Democrat strategist in 2021, the Texan’s Holly Hansen reported.
Hidalgo’s comments were made on county property and livestreamed on the Office of the County Judge’s official social media accounts.
During the event, the Texan reports Hidalgo accused District Attorney Kim Ogg of leaking the new warrants to the media, even though they had already been posted to the district clerk’s website and were available to the public.
Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo speaks during a news conference on Nov. 6, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo / Michael Wyke)
Under the Texas Election Code, using an elected office to engage in political advertising is a Class A misdemeanor, and under the Penal Code, misuse of government property, services or personnel constitutes an Abuse of Official Capacity, which could be classified as a misdemeanor or state jail felony, depending on the value of the thing misused.
Three of Hidalgo’s former staffers were indicted on felony charges in relation to the COVID-19 vaccine outreach contract last year, according to The Texan, but the county judge is now under review for her alleged participation in the scheme that sidelined the University of Texas Health Science Center in favor of Elevate Strategies.
Hidalgo discusses the Biden-Harris administration’s support of the Latino community. (@LinaHidalgoTX)
Following the press conference, which was removed from the county’s social media pages, The Texan reports that attorney Mark McCaig filed a civil complaint with the Texas Ethics Commission and a criminal complaint with Harris County Constable Precinct 4.
In late July, Hidalgo took a leave of absence while hospitalized for depression, but she returned to office in early October.
More legal issues continue to plague Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo as a criminal complaint has been filed and referred to the Texas Rangers for investigation just a day after meeting with Vice President Harris. (@LinaHidalgoTX)
On Monday, Hidalgo welcomed Vice President Harris to Houston for an event sponsored by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
Hidalgo then shared her thanks to Harris and President Biden for their support of the Latino community in a post on X, formerly Twitter.
Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo addresses the news media. (Reuters)
“Excited to join forces with VP Harris in Harris County discussing the Biden-Harris administration’s support of the Latino community. The $1 billion received in ARP investments serves all our communities in entrepreneurship, childhood education, healthcare access and more,” Hidalgo wrote.
The county judge’s office has not immediately been available for comment on the new investigation.
County judges in Texas are the highest elected executive in their counties. Harris County is the nation’s third-largest and is home to Houston, the largest city in Texas with a population well over 2 million.
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