Judge throws out petition to remove Armando Villalobos from office

Visiting Senior Judge J. Manuel Banales

A state judge has dismissed a citizen's attempt to remove a South Texas district attorney under federal indictment for corruption charges, but suggested the prosecutor should step down temporarily.

Visiting Senior Judge J. Manuel Banales told attorney Juan Angel Guerra on Wednesday that his client's petition had failed to meet the state's requirements.

Cameron County District Attorney Armando Villalobos was being targeted under a Texas law that allows some residents to submit a petition to a district court seeking the elected official's removal.

Villalobos is accused of taking more than $100,000 in bribes and kickbacks in exchange for using his prosecutorial discretion.

He was indicted earlier this month as part of a yearslong investigation that netted a guilty plea from former state District Judge Abel Limas and other court officials.