Cronyism, Lies, and Felony Indictments Emerge as the Plot Thickens
On Monday, April 11, 2022, a Harris County grand jury handed down felony indictments for County Judge Lina Hidalgo’s three senior employees related to the county’s controversial $11 million COVID contract with a highly connected Democrat operative. Today, The Texan first reported that the Democrat operative Felicity Pereyra, owner of Elevate Strategies, donated to the campaign of Judge Natalia Cornelio, the Democrat judge presiding over the court which received the indictments. Cornelio previously worked for Democrat Commissioner Rodney Ellis and received campaign donations from both Ellis and Democrat Commissioner Adrian Garcia.
“Lina Hidalgo’s corruption scandal grows by the day – just yesterday, three of Lina’s top aides received felony indictments for misuse of official information and tampering with a record. And today we are learning about another serious conflict of interest where the judge presiding over this case has received donations from the political consultant who was awarded the contract,” said Harris County Republican Party Chairman Cindy Siegel. “Lina has been the cause of corruption running rampant throughout Harris County for too long and it has to stop. We call on Judge Cornelio to recuse herself from this case and Lina Hidalgo to resign from office immediately. It’s time to do what’s right for the people of Harris County.”
Judge Lina Hidalgo-D, Rodney Ellis-D, and Adrian Garcia-D, leads a Culture of Corruption in Harris County Politics
- In August 2021, the public learned of the county’s $11 million contract for COVID outreach awarded by Lina Hidalgo to a Democrat political operative.
- According to The Texan, “Prior to founding the company in 2019, Pereyra had previously served as the deputy campaign manager for county Commissioner Adrian Garcia (D-Pct. 2). Pereyra had also been with Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and worked with the Democratic National Committee.”
- Not long after Republicans raised questions about transparency and Lina’s relationship with the vendor, Lina canceled the contract.
- Next, a grand jury announced an investigation into the contract followed by the Texas Rangers executing search warrants at the County Judge and other Harris County offices.
- Now three of Hidalgo’s top aides, including her Chief of Staff, have been indicted on two felony charges: misuse of official information and tampering with a government record.
- According to The Texan, “Through a randomized process, the county assigned the cases to the 351st District Court under Judge Natalia Cornelio, a former staffer for Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis (D-Pct. 1).”
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