A criminal complaint has been filed against Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, who is now under investigation by the Texas Rangers. The complaint was filed just a day after Hidalgo met with Vice President Kamala Harris. The complaint stems from a press conference held by Hidalgo on November 10, where she accused District Attorney Kim Ogg of leaking search warrants related to an $11 million COVID-19 vaccine outreach contract. Hidalgo’s comments were made on county property and livestreamed on official social media accounts. The Texas Rangers have been referred to investigate the matter.
Under the Texas Election Code, using an elected office for political advertising is a Class A misdemeanor, while misuse of government property, services, or personnel constitutes an Abuse of Official Capacity, which could be classified as a misdemeanor or state jail felony. Hidalgo’s alleged participation in a scheme that favored Elevate Strategies over the University of Texas Health Science Center is now under review. Three of Hidalgo’s former staffers were previously indicted on felony charges related to the same contract.
Attorney Mark McCaig filed a civil complaint with the Texas Ethics Commission and a criminal complaint with Harris County Constable Precinct 4 following the press conference. Hidalgo recently returned to office after taking a leave of absence for depression. On Monday, she welcomed Vice President Harris to Houston for an event sponsored by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and expressed gratitude for the Biden-Harris administration’s support of the Latino community.
The Harris County Judge’s office has not provided immediate comment on the new investigation. Harris County is the third-largest county in the United States and is home to Houston, the largest city in Texas.