Government Law

Texas DA Says He Won't Step Down Despite His Indictment in Federal Racketeering Case


Urged to resign as a Texas prosecutor following his federal indictment in an unusual criminal racketeering case that accuses him of bartering prosecutorial discretion for cash, Cameron County’s District Attorney is reportedly determined to stay in office.

Armando Villalobos, 44, who is also a Democratic candidate for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, insisted Monday, after his indictment was announced, that he would neither resign nor drop out of the Congressional race, according to the Brownsville Herald and the Houston Chronicle.

The county’s top elected official, Judge Carlos Cascos, who is a Republican, has urged Villalobos to step down. Cascos says that his call for the DA’s resignation has nothing to do with politics, only whether he can operate an “effective and efficient” office while defending the federal case.

“I don’t believe he can,” said Cascos on Tuesday. “It’s tough. That particular office that deals with all kinds of crimes at different levels whether criminal or domestic—you got to focus.”

The case against Villalobos, who is charged with extortion and honest services fraud as well as racketeering and conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, is described in detail in an earlier ABAJournal.com post.

The Wall Street Journal (sub. req.) reports that attorney Joel Androphy, who represents Villalobos, describes the allegations against the DA as false.

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