The City of Mercedes filed three lawsuits in Hidalgo County District Court. These lawsuits were filed in 2020. The cause numbers are C-1274-20-B, C-1564-20-J, and C-1640-20-G. The filings relate to prior City Attorney Juan R Molina’s time representing the City of Mercedes.
The lawsuits reference decisions made by Molina during his tenure with the City of Mercedes. Essentially, the claims, which appear to be similar to the indictment issued in the United States District Court, Southern District of Texas, McAllen Division, state he provided bad legal advice in an attempt to receive a benefit of a federally funded program.
The indictment, filed on May 17, 2022, accuses Molina of embezzlement, stealing, obtaining by fraud property worth at least $5,000. The range period of the indictment is from May 22, 2017 through July 15, 2019.
We do not know if the City of Mercedes lawsuits were the cause of the investigation and indictment of Molina, but it would not be far off to consider that law enforcement entities watch court filings for potential matters of interest.
We have seen more than a few interesting lawsuits filed. A prior 404th Judicial Court of Cameron County candidate filed a defamation lawsuit because he was not elected. The prior 404th Judicial Court Judge is defending the prior candidate. The lawsuit is filed in Cameron County District Court.
Another lawsuit of interest may be one of the prior Harlingen Valley International Police Chief accusing his prior employer of retaliation. The lawsuit was initially filed in Travis County District Court then transferred to Cameron County District Court.
As the Molina case unfolds, we may be able to tell if the lawsuits, in this case, played any part in the evidence to the case or a reason for the indictment. Most recently, Molina has plead not guilty to the charges he has been accused. The lawsuits, related to Molina, in Hidalgo County are still opened and ongoing.