Cameron County judge wants DA to step down amid federal charges

District Attorney Armando Villalobos flanked by supporters outside Brownsville's federal courthouse.

The top elected official in a South Texas county has called for the district attorney to resign after he was indicted on federal racketeering charges.

Cameron County Judge Carlos Cascos said Tuesday that District Attorney Armando Villalobos should step down and focus on defending himself against charges of extortion and honest services fraud.

Villalobos, who is running for Congress in the Democratic primary, denied the charges after his indictment Monday in Brownsville and said the case would not affect his office.

Cascos, a Republican, said state law doesn't require Villalobos to resign, but it would help the DA's office if he did.

Federal prosecutors allege Villalobos solicited and accepted bribes for his prosecutorial discretion. His case is tied to former state District Judge Abel Limas, who pleaded guilty to racketeering.