Indicted county commissioner says he won't step down
Thu, 30 Jan 2014 19:35:00 GMT —
Cameron County Commissioner Ernie Hernandez said through his attorney that he does not intend to step down from office after being indicted on several corruption-related charges.
A grand jury indicted Hernandez, who legal name is Erniel Hernandez, Jr., on eight separate charges:
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.
Defense attorney John Blaylock spoke on Hernandez's behalf during a press conference outside a Cameron County Commissioner Court meeting on Wednesday afternoon.
Blaylock said the indictment against the commissioner maintains his innocence adding that the indictment is "weak" and "lacks evidence."
According to Blaylock, Hernandez believes that the charges are "political" and the result of a vendetta from Cameron County District Attorney Luis Saenz.
Blaylock said Hernandez had supported a rival candidate who was running against Saenz during the 2012 primaries.
"Ernie hernandez and his family helped Carlos Masso and it's a fact that Carlos Masso got more votes that Luis Saenz in the primary," Blaylock said. "Armando villalobos indicted Yolanda De Leon and Peter Zavaleta and eventually those chickens came home to roost as I expect these will."
Blaylock said Hernandez hopes voters will allow him to prove himself in a court of law and won't judge him at the polls for his re-election bid during the Democratic Party primary.
During the county commisioners court meeting, some residents asked Hernandez to resign saying the indictment draws negative attention to the county.