Willacy County released a copy of the indictment against Green Party congressional candidate Vanessa Tijerina on Monday — revealing theft allegations involving food stamps and Medicaid.
Tijerina is charged with theft related to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Medicaid benefits, according to the indictment against her. The theft charge is a third-degree felony punishable by a maximum 10 years in prison.
Along with Democrat Vicente Gonzalez and Republican Tim Westley, she’s running for Texas’ 15th congressional district.
Tijerina declined an on-camera interview about the indictment, but published a lengthy news release on Facebook:
SNAP and Medicaid is for families who fall on hard times and I have no pride in having to have had to ask for help, but I am like millions of mothers who America has left behind and that’s one of the reasons I’m running to represent the people of South Texas.
I am a mother who needed to ensure my children would have access to food, during a financially unstable time in my life. March 2012 was the beginning of that time, my family was bombarded by negative forces due to the efforts of a politiquera to harass us/those close to me and use the connections she had with local officials to deny protection for myself/my family. To this day, the torment continues.
This created a massive amount of hardship that was emotional and physical leading to my having a miscarriage and the destruction of personal relationships that further affected my life financially. I would not be surprised if, in the future, it is revealed that those who harassed and tormented my family and I were the same people who were involved in any sort of testimony in this case. I will add that my children have never been hospitalized or utilized Medicaid for more than checkups and immunizations.
I have been a strong advocate against corruption and government incompetence which lead to the demise of the seat for a local South Texas District Attorney. In his last ditch effort to get revenge, said District Attorney is using the face that I used SNAP during a dark period in my life to politically and publicly shame me.
The Willacy County District Attorney’s Office declined to comment on Tijerina’s allegations.