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County Judge Lina Hidalgo may cry that her criminal problem is all about politics, but the messages her office tried to hide from the grand jury tell you the real story here.
Lina Hidalgo has been caught lying.
“I’m always transparent. I’m always honest. I’m not over here hiding behind my lawyer,” claimed Lina Hidalgo in a press conference.
While defending herself after new Texas Ranger search warrants were issued in that 11-million-dollar covid contract bid rigging investigation, the mentally troubled county judge said it was District Attorney Kim Ogg who had mental issues.
“I learned so much about mental health and one of the things I learned some people just don’t have the right coping strategies,” continued Hidalgo.
“She’s abused the power of her office the way a bully would abuse size in the playground,” claims Hidalgo.
Maybe Hidalgo should have asked her lawyer before she opened her mouth the other day because in that press conference at the county admin building, Hidalgo likely violated state criminal law and not because she accused the D.A. of playing politics.
“You’re not supposed to use the people’s funding for political ends, and we need to stop this circus that she wants us to be part of every time,” said Hidalgo.
But Hidalgo did just that, announcing Ogg was mad because Hidalgo was supporting Ogg’s opponent Sean Teare in the race for the democratic primary.
“He is a well-respected very experienced strong opponent who not only just released a poll showing that he’s ahead, but he has severely outraised her,” said Hidalgo.
Hidalgo also claimed Ogg had gone after another likely political opponent, repeating a false claim echoed by the Houston chronicle in recent weeks.
“It’s been thoroughly documented its Darrell Jordan a sitting judge that was arrested and booked before he was going to run against her, everybody knew in the political class that he was planning to run against her and would’ve been a formidable opponent,” said Hidalgo.
He Lina, sorry you missed me in an orange jumpsuit in his court it was all over TV.
Kim Ogg recused herself in that investigation. It was handled entirely by the Fort Bend County district attorney’s office. And the judge; he was indicted by a Grand Jury, the only reason he didn’t go to trial was because the Fort Bend D.A. Brian Middleton bailed him out when he dropped the case suddenly.
And then there’s Hidalgo’s anger that Ogg investigated Rodney Ellis for that ridiculous African art debacle. Ellis wasn’t indicted, but in my view he sure should have been.
“There’s no political ploy, we’re doing our job. That’s not politics. That’s just work,” said Kim Ogg.
In a statement following Hidalgo’s news conference, the D.A. called her latest unhinged moment childish.
“A childish exercise in name calling that has become all too common in our political process,” read Ogg’s statement.
“From the moment I was elected, I’ve always been focused on the truth and transparency,” claimed Hidalgo.
Here’s just one of many examples of Lina Hidalgo simply not telling the truth.
It was May 2022, months after the COVID contract investigation had begun when FOX 26 reporter Greg Groogan asked Lina Hidalgo why she used the encrypted app signal to communicate about county business.
“Why do you need an encrypted messaging system,” asked Groogan.
“Man, I have Slack, I have Signal, I have WhatsApp, I haven’t used them in years,” claimed Hidalgo.
But using state law, we proved Hidalgo, and her staff were routinely using WhatsApp. They hid many of the messages from us. And this week, Hidalgo was given the chance walk back her comments last year, and instead she lied again.
Actually, it looks like the Texas rangers have already busted hidalgo and her staff big time.
Three of her now former top aides were already indicted for misuse of official information and tampering.
The law enforcement class Lina, well, they think you’re likely going to get indicted soon.
And this woman may now be your biggest problem. Felicity Pereyra, the democratic operative who got that COVID contract in 2021. She’d never been charged in the case, but it’s clear from search warrants that she’s cooperating and has turned over lots of communications to the Rangers.
Elevate Strategies was a one-woman company that had been in business less than two years at the time the COVID RFP was published, back in February of 2021.
The company won the contract even though UT Health – which had a lot of experience- scored higher.
When commissioners balked at approving the deal, Hidalgo used emergency powers granted because of the pandemic to make it happen.
Elevate was the highest bidder, more than 3 million dollars more than UT.
And even after the contract was cancelled in the wake of corruption allegations 1.425 million was invoiced and paid to the company. The county has recovered only some of the money.
The bottom line; this deal stunk.
“I’m the last person you could possibly cause of steering a contract. I’m the one person who doesn’t give contracts to donors. I mean it’s just illogical,” claimed Lina Hidalgo.
The Texas Rangers now say numerous documents and communications that were ordered to be produced by Grand Jury subpoena had been concealed. Some to protect Hidalgo’s role in this covid scandal, including some of those WhatsApp messages.
The Ranger even implicates the chief lawyer for the county judge, Kathryn Kase, she “admits that she deletes metadata before producing pia documents even though she knows requestors are entitled to the metadata.”
It was Kase who first denied they even had records on the judge’s phone calls until we demanded them. They suddenly appeared. And It was Kase, who withheld WhatsApp messages from us, but of course we’re not the Grand Jury.
“WhatsApp messages had been deleted after the initiation of the Grand Jury investigation,” the warrants claim.
Lina was asked, “Did you delete messages?”
She responded, “Of course not. I mean, that would be stupid.”
But the owner of Elevate has helped put the pieces together and there’s a lot of evidence the county judge’s office was involved in planning the scope of the RFP with Elevate a whole month before it was even publicly announced.
Let’s dig deeper into the search warrants, shall we?
“Of the documents not disclosed were documents that show hidalgo personally edited the scope of work documents and mentioned the owner of elevate strategies… more than two weeks before the project was publicly announced,” reads the warrant.
Former Hidalgo Chief of Staff, Joe Madden, hasn’t been indicted in this COVID mess, but one of his WhatsApp messages is identified in the search warrants. It suggests even the county judge’s staff knew this whole thing may be a scandal waiting to happen. Referring to a requested meeting between the owner of Elevate and the county judge weeks before the RFP went public. Look what hidalgo’s own former chief of staff said on WhatsApp.
“Do it. I don’t want any of [us] involved in this. [judge lina hidalgo] should be the project manager. Her ridiculous questions need to [go] straight to [felicity pereyra] and not filter through us and drag us all down. And when it inevitably goes to shit and she lights her security blanket on fire, it needs to be fully on her,” read the messages.
Hidalgo says if any documents weren’t turned over, it was just a mistake, not a cover up.
“You have to be stupid to do that everybody knows that you just you don’t mess with these things. You give whatever they want,” said Hidalgo.
The problem Hidalgo has is that the Rangers already have at least some of the deleted messages, and heavily encrypted apps that allow you to disappear conversations won’t protect her now.
If you’ve been keeping up with public corruption investigations around the country, you’ll notice the FBI just seized devices from New York mayor Eric Adams.
It’s because technology now makes it possible now to access deleted material straight from the devices themselves. And that’s why the Harris County district attorney and Texas Rangers did the exact same thing here more than a year ago when the Hidalgo investigation first began.
But listen to Hidalgo try to claim it’s the district attorney who’s really the corrupt one here.
“She does what she always done, which is to use her office for her political gain and her political benefit,” said Lina Hidalgo.
It’s hard to see how a democratic district attorney benefits politically from an investigation of another Democrat.
Many liberal democratic precinct judges have attacked Ogg too and she already has a tough primary challenge from Teare.
The county judge is clearly hoping the progressive wing of the party will prevail and somehow then bail her out of trouble. It prompted Ogg to fire back.
“There will be no political intimidation of law enforcement agents or prosecutors under my leadership,” read a statement from Ogg.
Stay tuned because the walls on the county judge are closing in.Keep up with us on social media: