FOX San Antonio - FOLLOW UP STORIES
By: Grace White
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Victor Rodriguez won the democratic primary for Frio County Precinct 2 Constable's race, but his opponent, Joe Ornelas, is now getting the job. It comes after Ornelas filed a lawsuit in Frio County, claiming the election was rigged.
Fake mail-in ballots are the reason Frio County Constable Joe Orenelas says he lost his bid for re-election. "I enjoy working and I love my job," said Constable Joe Ornelas, Frio County Pct. 2. It's a job a judge says he can now keep.
When Ornelas lost the democratic primary run-off election he sued his opponent Victor Rodriguez, the man who won. Ornelas questioned whether dozens of ballots were valid. Now, in an unusual twist, both sides agreed to settle the suit and declare Ornelas the winner. "I'm very happy with the results of the lawsuit and I'm glad I went ahead and filed a contest to the election," said Ornelas.
There were 57 mail in ballots in question. The clerk's office says they were all mailed to two places, a home address in San Antonio and a P.O. Box in Kenedy. "The 57 votes we spoke of, I think they were in question and we needed to resolve it," said Ornelas. The civil lawsuit is resolved, but we still don't know what happened to the ballots in question and who's responsible for the voter information they contained.
"The county will take all measures to have fair elections and that every citizen's voice is heard," said Frio County Judge Carlos Garcia. The County Clerk's office reported the suspicious ballots to state election officials. They are still investigating to see if any criminal charges will be filed.
It's unclear why Rodriguez conceded the election. We talked to him today on the phone, but he told us he did not want to comment on the case. Ornelas will now be on the November ballot, but he has no republican challenger.
Ex-DA testifies in own defense in bribery trial
May 23, 2013 03:35 GMT
BROWNSVILLE, Texas (AP) -- A former South Texas district attorney charged with helping a crooked judge has testified in his own defense.
Former Cameron County District Attorney Armando Villalobos (vee-yah-LOH'-bohs) was called to testify after federal prosecutors rested in his corruption trial. He told a federal jury in Brownsville that he didn't have the close relationship with Abel Limas that the former state district judge testified that they had.
Villalobos is the highest-profile target to stand trial in a FBI investigation into legal corruption involving Limas, who failed in his 2008 re-election bid. Limas has pleaded guilty to racketeering and awaits sentencing.
Villalobos is to continue his testimony Thursday.
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