Cameron County elections administrator speaks out

Roger Ortiz is the man at the center of all the controversy surrounding the Cameron County Judge race recount.

He dodged interviews for almost a week until Thursday night, when he broke the silence in a press conference that was held on his terms.

On Friday morning, Action 4 News had a whole new list of questions and got answers.

At the time that we finished the recount everything was nice and smooth and you did a great job, Ortiz said.

That was until an uncounted tally sheet from Precinct 54 was discovered. Ortiz admitted that's when things took a turn for the worse.

I missed a tally cover sheet with numbers on it because it was attached to| behind another tally sheet," Ortiz said. "That was everything that happened and from that everything else developed and there's versions different people have different things to say they have different allegations.

They are allegations like the one Indian Lake Police Chief John Chambers told Action 4 News

Candidate relatives were serving as election judges and by law there prohibited from doing so," Chambers said. "The ballots were unescorted to the polling location or the counting locations."

Chambers said he acted as a poll watcher on Saturday night, the night of the recount in question.

I think there were a lot of mistakes made in this election," explained Chambers.

According to Chambers, one of the mistakes was leaving the recount in the hands of one person and not having an election recount committee.

But Chambers isn TMt the only one making allegations.

Incumbent Carlos Cascos, whose future hangs on this election, had some harsh comments for Ortiz as well.

In a written statement, Cascos said Ortiz has denied a similar to recount mail-in ballots and alleges that 15 votes somehow appeared during the recount.

He also went on to state Ortiz is, "cherry-picking the precincts to ensure John Wood's victory".

To me it doesn't matter which candidate goes which way or who wins," Ortiz said. "I just want it to be fair I want it to be the way it needs to be and i would feel very uncomfortable if some of the voters votes weren't counted."

With all this controversy, it raises the question, is his job in jeopardy?

No my job hasn't even been mentioned at all," Ortiz said. "It's just ...I've always tried to do what is right and be fair and walk a straight line down the middle...and that's what I TMm doing."