Christopher Green | Staff Reporter
HAYS COUNTY — Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra has been fined $500 for his third campaign finance violation since 2016.
The Texas Ethics Commission met on Dec. 8, 2021, to consider a complaint filed that Becerra didn’t report campaign finances by the deadline set by Sec. 254.063. of the Texas Title 15, election code regulating political funds and campaign finances.
In a resolution adopted by the Texas Ethics Commission it states, “The complaint alleged that the respondent did not timely file the July 2020 and January 2021 semiannual reports. Although not alleged in the complaint, the commission also considered whether the respondent timely filed the July 2021 semiannual report.”
Also stated in the resolution is, “The complaint alleged that the respondent did not file the July 2020 semiannual report, which was due by July 15, 2020, and the January semiannual report, which was due by Jan. 15, 2021.”
Becerra acknowledged the reports were filed late. Becerra’s spouse, who prepares the reports, provided a supplemental statement explaining why the reports were late.
Becerra’s spouse Monica Becerra states, “Regarding the report due on July 15th, 2020, I don’t understand what happened to it, or why it was never turned in. I asked the notary to see her ledger and there was an entry on 7/15/2020 for a campaign finance report. I remember several candidates and office holders putting the reports together for one person to drop them off at the elections office. All the others made it, but Ruben’s did not. At this time, I cannot say exactly why this happened, it may have been that I found a mistake I needed to fix but am unsure at this time.”
Becerra’s spouse claimed she had a broken foot at the time when the Jan. 15, 2021, report was supposed to be submitted and that Becerra, herself and their two adult sons had tested positive for COVID-19.
The resolution concluded stating, “After considering the nature, circumstances, and consequences of the violations described under Section Ill, and after considering the respondent’s previous violations for late campaign finance reports and the penalty necessary to deter future violations, the Commission imposes a $500 civil penalty.”
Becerra’s previous campaign violations include when he did not timely file the 30-day pre-election report for the November 2018 general election and the January 2019 semiannual report.
In response to the complaint, the respondent swore that the reports were filed late because he did not have all of the required information when the reports were due. Becerra was fined a $500 civil penalty for the violations.
In September 2017, the Texas Ethics Commission met to consider a complaint that Becerra did not properly disclose political contributions and political expenditures in 30-day and 8-day pre-election campaign finance reports and did not include a political advertising disclosure statement on political advertising.
“The complaint alleged that the respondent did not properly disclose on his 30-day and 8-day pre-election reports for the November 2016 election political contributions accepted and political expenditures made during the reporting periods,” the Texas Ethics Commission said in their report.
Becerra was fined a $500 civil penalty for this violation. In total, Becerra has received $1,500 in fines from the Texas Ethics Commission ruling that he had violated election code.
Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra announced he will be seeking a second term in office in 2022.