City councilmen allege political retaliation behind slew of lawsuits

Two political parties are fighting for power in the City of Hidalgo.

Members of Community United, also known as the blue team, believe a member of Concerned Citizens of Hidalgo, also known as the red team, is trying to use frivolous lawsuits to smear their names.

"All we want is to create an even playing field where anybody who requests a permit is allowed to get a permit," Hidalgo city councilman Guillermo Ramirez said.

Ramirez plays for the blue team.

He and city councilman Gustavo Sanchez wanted to allow more bus and taxi permits in the city.

But city councilman Rudy Franz said doing this hurts the transportation business.

"It's never been a lucrative business, in the last ten years we really haven't made any money off it," Franz said.

Franz is with the red team and has a monopoly on the transportation business in Hidalgo.

He owns half of the taxi permits, a bus company called STS and two towing companies.

Franz and other taxi drivers banded together to file a lawsuit against Sanchez, Ramirez and rival bus company S & N.

"Their predisposition to harm Rudy Franz has now harmed a whole number of people who are honest hard working taxi drivers," attorney Fabian Guerrero, who represents Franz and the taxi drivers, said.

The lawsuit was dismissed earlier this week by visiting judge Rosa Vela.

It happened after Sanchez was slapped with another lawsuit which he believes Franz is behind.

"It's the same person, its Rudy Franz," he said. "(It's) political retaliation and we are going to fight it just like everything else in court," Sanchez said.

The lawsuit alleges Sanchez pocketed money he allegedly received while hosting basketball training camps at the Hidalgo Independent School District.

The allegations were investigated by the school district and were found to be baseless.

Franz said he has nothing to do with the lawsuit but believes Sanchez should be held accountable.

Both Ramirez and Sanchez said they were demoted at their job with the school district by a school official who sided politically with Franz.