San Benito mayor starts serving probation in "Raspa Gate" scandal

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BROWNSVILLE, Texas (AP) -- A South Texas mayor will serve a year of probation to resolve charges of a snow cone stand allegedly operating on his property in violation of city rules.

San Benito Mayor Joe Hernandez on Wednesday agreed to join a pretrial diversion program for dismissal of a felony charge of tampering with evidence.

He wasn't required to enter a plea but must pay the $500 program fee.

The Valley Morning Star reports Hernandez still faces a misdemeanor charge of abuse of official capacity if he fails to complete probation.

A grand jury in October indicted Hernandez on charges he put an ordinance revision on a 2011 city council agenda that would benefit him.

He also allegedly tried to obscure evidence of the snow cone stand illegally operating on his property.