La Joya municipal judge facing criminal charges

Joe Henry Garza File Photo

La Joya Municipal Judge Joe Henry Garza is back on the hotseat.

Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office deputies arrested 55-year-old Garza under a theft by a public servant charge on Thursday morning.

Sheriff Lupe Trevio told Action 4 News his agency's Public Integrity Unit made the arrest.

Garza is expected to be arraigned before Justice of the Peace Bobby Contreras at the Hidalgo County Jail at 3:00 p.m. Thursday.

Details were not immediately available in the case but deputies reported the charge is a third-degree felony meaning that Garza is accused of stealing between $20,000 and $100,000 dollars.

If convicted, Garza could face between two and 10 years in prison and/or a $10,000 dollar fine.

It's not the first brush with the law or controversy for Judge Garza.

Action 4 News first reported back in November 2008 about a La Joya woman who complained against Garza for throwing her in jail for her son's truancy case.

Judge Garza was later indicted with six counts of official oppression and three counts of abuse of official capacity.

Those charges were dismissed back in September 2009.