Officials in Texas Town Accused of Public Corruption Face Recall Election

FBI Crystal City
Photo: KSAT Video Screenshot

Following FBI raid that shut down the city hall in Crystal City last week, as reported in Breitbart Texas, one member of City Council has resigned. Three other city leaders are now facing a recall election.

The city clerk verified the correct number of signatures on a petition that was submitted Wednesday night to the Crystal City Council. The petition called for the recall of Mayor Ricardo Lopez, Mayor Pro Tem Rogelio Mata, and City Councilman Marco Rodreguiz. City Councilman Raoul Mata, the brother of the mayor pro tem, was one of those arrested on February, he has already resigned, which is why his name was left off the recall petition.

Unnamed sources have told media outlets that Mayor Lopez has planned on resigning, but has given no indication as to when that will be. He and the others have a five-day deadline to resign or go through the recall process.

Both the mayor and mayor pro tem were among six men arrested on February 4 by the FBI on charges of bribery. As Breitbart Texas reported in January, Rodriguez was arrested on human smuggling charges near Big Wells, Texas, for allegedly bringing three Mexican nationals into the United States in his pickup truck. Border Patrol agents reported that as he was being questioned, he floored the gas pedal and took off, leaving the agents to chase him. He and the three illegal aliens were arrested.

The others included in last week’s raid were former City Councilman Gilbert Urrabazo, and North Texas businessman and promoter of an eight liner gambling parlor in Crystal City, Ngoc Tri Ngyuen. The six were charged with bribery and conspiracy. The arrests involved up to $14,000 in alleged payoffs and a reported $10,000 of misappropriated federal development funds.

The sole remaining member of city council is Joel Barajas. He is not facing any criminal charges.

No date has been set for the recall election.

Rob Milford is a reporter for Breitbart Texas. You can follow him on Twitter @milford_rob.