Hidalgo County justice of the peace arrested
Sat, 31 Jul 2010 03:47:45 GMT —
An Hidalgo County Judge finds herself on the other side of the bench after being indicted.
Judge Mary Alice Palacios of Precinct 4, Place 2 is accused of sending kids to jail for months at a time, because they couldn't pay their truancy fine.
Shielded by family and friends, Judge Palacios made her way from the Hidalgo County Jail at 12:32pm Friday just 15 minutes after being booked into the jail.
Palacios is being charged with official oppression and was given a $2,500 PR bond, after an Hidalgo grand jury handed down an indictment against her Wednesday.
Before being whisked away in an awaiting vehicle, she rolled down the window and thanked those who supported her through the years. "Thank you to everyone for all of their support" said the Judge.
She also stated "the truth will come out and you'll hear it." Olga Rodriguez, Palacios' sister, told Action 4 News what's happening isn't fair. She added that all of the family will stand behind her, because she's done nothing wrong.
"She's taking it hard, but we're going to get through this. We'll be there and so will you" said Rodriguez. Palacios has been under fire for her truancy practices in the past, but this is the first time she's actually been charged.
Judge Palacios is also facing a federal lawsuit filed against her by the ACLU for several kids she allegedly put in jail for unpaid truancy fines.
Judge Mary Alice Palacios TM Statement:
First, I thank my supporters for their thoughts and prayers. I ask the community to not pass judgment on me because there TMs more to this than meets the eye. I want to assure everyone that my conscious is clean. I have done nothing wrong, let alone illegal. I take my job very seriously and respect your office, and the position to which you voted for me into 10 years ago. That old adage that any DA can indict a ham sandwich, couldn TMt be more appropriate to a case than the one I TMve been put in. The honest truth is that this case is personal between Rene Guerra [Hidalgo County Judge] and myself. Rene Guerra is a tyrant, and this is what happens when you refuse to bow down to a tyrant. Sometime back, he personally called me and demanded that I not do something pertaining to a friend of his. I refused and he threatened me. I was expecting his wrath and am now facing this indictment. His office is both defending me in a civil lawsuit and now prosecuting me. Both stemming from the same matters. Let there be no doubt, this is as personal as it gets. I repeat, I have done nothing illegal. I have done nothing to bring disrespect to your office or the position you have entrusted me with. I look forward to defending myself in our open and public court system, where the truth will come out. I will vindicate and clear mine and my family TMs good name.