Cameron County Pct. 2 Commissioner Ernie Hernandez Indicted
Thu, 23 Jan 2014 19:39:37 GMT —
A grand jury has indicted Cameron County Pct. 2 Commissioner Ernie Hernandez on mulitple corruption-related charges.
The Cameron County District Attorney's Office made the announcement during a Thursday afternoon press conference.
According to the indictment, Hernandez has been charged with the following:
Two counts of abuse of official capacity One count of misuse of official information Two counts of witness tampering One count of tampering with a government record One count of obstruction or retaliation One count of coercion by a public officials
The four-page indictment details a plot by Hernandez to get his brother-in-law Roberto Cadriel a job even though he did not qualify for it.
Hernandez's former assistant Raul Salazar was sentenced in December to 10 months in jail for his role in the scheme.
The embattled county commissioner surrendered at the Cameron County Jail early Thursday afternoon.
Hernandez was originally issued a $75,000 bond but it was reduced to $35,000 at his arraignment.
Hernandez served as a Brownsville City Commissioner before becoming elected as a county commissioner.
Cameron County Judge Carlos Cascos spoke to Action 4 News about the indictment.
Under Texas state law, an elected official is not required to step down or be removed from office if they are indicted.
Casco added that Hernandez is innocent until proven guilty and will remain in his elected seat.
Prosecutors with the District Attorney's Office Public Integrity Unit revealed three other public servents were indicted in three unrelated cases:
Cameron County Sheriff's Department Deputy Arturo Ramos, Jr. Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) State Trooper Jose Angel Muoz, Jr. Cameron County Maintenance Department Leader Juan Millan Lemus
Ramos is facing one count of official oppression while Muoz is facing two counts of official oppression.
Lemus is facing once count of theft.