Former justice attorney deems single member election illegal

They're words on a page but with a lot of meaning and they have Harlingen city leaders all fired up.

I just wish he would leave Harlingen out of the equation, said Harlingen mayor Chris Boswell. Because what he's saying happened in Harlingen didn't happen as he portrays it in the book.

In a new book, former Justice Attorney Christian Adams alleges Harlingen's first ever single member district election held in 2009 was illegal.

He claims the Department of Justice did not approve the new district lines.

And although he doesn't blame the city for the problem Harlingen city leaders say his allegations are just not true.

"The Department of Justice gave us pre-approval technically first with an oral verification, said Boswell who added the City Commission Election was legal and the justice department did approve it in writing as well.

The mayor says Harlingen hired an attorney that worked closely with the Department of Justice to ensure the city followed all procedures to go from commissioners at-large to the single member districts.

"If there had been a problem the Department of Justice could have filed an injunction or deemed the election not legal, said Boswell. And they didn't do that.

In the book, Christian Adams goes on to say the Department of Justice allowed the election to take place because they were waiting to see if a person of Hispanic origin would win. Harlingen City Commissioner Jerry Perpejchal says the facts don't match his premise. "One has to look at why he's a former justice attorney, did something happen, did he retire said Perpejchal. To me it sounds like a rouse to just sell books.

In the 2009 election, one Hispanic candidate won a commission seat that year: JoeyTrevio for district 5.

Other winners were Larry Galbreath, district 1; Robert Leftwich, district 2; Kori Marra, district 3; and Jerry Prepejchal, district 4.