Judge hears arguments on Edinburg mayor’s request to remove DA from illegal voting case

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FILE– Edinburg mayor Richard Molina and wife turn themselves into Texas Rangers. They are being arraigned by Justice of the Peace Pct. 2 in Edinburg .

EDINBURG, Texas (ValleyCentral) — After hearing arguments and witness testimony from multiple parties, a district judge will soon decide if Hidalgo County’s District Attorney will be removed as a prosecutor from the Edinburg mayor’s illegal voting case.

Richard Molina, Edinburg mayor, is facing a felony indictment for engaging in organized election fraud and several charges of illegal voting relating to his election as mayor in 2017.

In October, Molina issued a request to remove Hidalgo County District Attorney Ricardo Rodriguez from his position as the prosecutor on the case, citing that Molina removed numerous relatives of Rodriguez from positions during his time as mayor.

A hearing was held on Monday in the 92nd District Court to see if Rodriguez would be removed from the case.

Judge Luis M. Singleterry heard from several people involved with Molina and Rodriguez on the matter and announced he would issue a decision on Tuesday.

Among those subpoenaed to the trial on Monday were Rodriguez, district attorney’s office officials, and other former Edinburg city officials.

Molina turned himself in for the 12 charges he is facing in April 2019 after an indictment was brought against him.

The incumbent mayor ran for re-election in 2021 and received the second-highest vote total behind former Edinburg city manager Ramiro Garza, Jr. Neither of the two received over 50 percent of the votes and will face off in a runoff election in December.

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