County Judge Under Investigation By TX AG For Promoting COVID Testing Kits, More
Terra Rivers | Managing Editor
Editors Note: Since this story was published, Corridor News has confirmed that the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) the Department of Justice (DOJ), and Texas Rangers are currently investigating Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra and Hays County Chief of Staff and candidate for Sheriff for ethical questions regarding COVID-19 Testing kits. See Related Stories below for more details.
9/25/2020: How A Local Hays Politician Helped A Serial Entrepreneur Use COVID-19 To Boost His Business
8/22/2020: Kyle Arrest Reveals Ongoing TX AG Investigations Of Hays County Leadership
8/14/2020: Hays County Budget Workshop Derailed Over April Ethics Questions Regarding COVID-19 Testing Kits
Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra is under investigation by state officials following allegations including the promotion of questionable coronavirus antibody tests.
The Texas Tribune and ProPublica reported Friday Becerra attempted to persuade local mayors to buy COVID-19 antibody tests by the thousands.
Recordings from phone conferences with local health and elected officials reveal several attempts by Becerra to convince them to support the purchase of testing kits through MRG Health and MDBox.
According to a letter from the Texas Attorney General’s office dated April 10 addressed to the Texas Rangers, the AG is investigating allegations of Becerra disclosing county budget information to MRG Health.
The letter states Becerra may have committed offenses such as abuse of official capacity, official oppression, misuse of official information, theft, misapplication of fiduciary property, tampering with a government record, and election code laws.
The San Marcos Daily Record broke the news Friday by publishing the letter from the AG’s office Friday.
An arrest that occurred in April of a man from New York revealed Hays County District Attorney Wes Mau had already recused himself from cases related to Judge Becerra and Alex Villalobos.
According to Friday’s report, Kyle Hayungs has sought telemedicine contracts across the state for his company, MRG medical.
Emails obtained by public records requests show Hays County Chief of Staff, Alex Villalobos, and Becerra helped the entrepreneur with a proposal for the county on its coronavirus response and stated Villalobos edited company marketing material.
Becerra assigned Hayungs with a federal grant application and helped broker a pitch meeting with the former CEO of Central Texas Medical Center, Anthony Stahl.
The AG’s letter states its criminal prosecution division will prosecute “viable cases that are developed as to Judge Becerra or any other individuals from the investigation of the allegations involving Becerra.”
Commissioner Walt Smith expressed concerns regarding MDBox and its testing kits since Becerra first proposed the county purchase 2,000 antibody tests early into the pandemic.
Among the allegations the AG’s office is investigating involves Becerra having emergency lights placed on his personal, privately-owned vehicle by county employees on county time and at county expense, which is abuse of official capacity.
The AG’s letter also states it will investigate Becerra’s unilateral decision to remove an item from the agenda sponsored by another commissioner after it had been published as an official record.
Becerra stated the reason he removed the agenda item was due to a lack of background materials, which were unavailable prior to the meeting.
Corridor News has been unable to get a response or comment from Becerra. However, he told the Statesman that several of the allegations including ones related to official oppression and abuse of official capacity were fabricated.
While no tests were officially purchased by Hays County from MRG Medical, Corridor News obtained an invoice for $30,000 for the purchase of COVID-19 testing kits.
- County Judge Under Investigation By TX AG For Promoting COVID Testing Kits, More
- How A Local Hays Politician Helped A Serial Entrepreneur Use COVID-19 To Boost His Business
- Kyle Arrest Reveals Ongoing TX AG Investigations Of Hays County Leadership
- Hays County Budget Workshop Derailed Over April Ethics Questions Regarding COVID-19 Testing Kits
- 09/26/2020: County Judge Under Investigation By TX AG For Promoting COVID Testing Kits,
- 09/25/2020: How A Local Hays Politician Helped A Serial Entrepreneur Use COVID-19 To
…………………..Boost His Business
- 09/17/2020: Lawsuit Filed In Hays County District Court For The Removal Of County Judge
- 08/25/2020: Support For Local Law Enforcement Was “Out In Force” Against “Defunding” In
…………………..Hays County Judge’s Budget
- 08/22/2020: Kyle Arrest Reveals Ongoing TX AG Investigations Of Hays County Leadership
- 08/14/2020: Hays County Budget Workshop Derailed Over April Ethics Questions Regarding
…………………..COVID-19 Testing Kits
- 05/04/2020: County Judges, Election, Elected Officials Caught Misleading Voters Over
…………………..COVID-19 Mail-In Voting
- 04/13/2020: Ethical Questions Still Surround Hays County Judge’s COVID-19 Testing Kits
- 04/02/2020: Hays County Judge Acquires 2,000 New COVID-19 Tests
- 02/26/2020: Official Census Materials Bearing County Judge’s Personal Seal Raises Grant
- 01/31/2020: Hays County Loses Long-Term Regional Seat On CAPCOG Board
- 11/27/2019: Texas Ethics Commission Issues Decision On Complaint Against Local Official
- 08/13/2019: Hays Co. Commissioner Requests Investigation By The Texas Rangers Into
…………………..Tampering Of Govt. Document
- 08/05/2019: Hays County Judge Recommends Dissolving Full Department, Rise In Property
…………………..Taxes In 2020 Budget
- 02/26/2019: City Of San Marcos Could Soon Evict Tenant For Non-Payment Of Lease And
- 10/26/2018: Hays County Judge Candidate Appears To Owe Additional Debt To Local
- 10/22/2019: Documents Show Hays County Judge Candidate Lacks Personal, Business
- 10/17/2018: San Marcos City Council Shows Great Divide, Infighting In The Dixie Cream
…………………..Sweetheart Of A Deal Finale
- 05/11/2018: An In-Depth Investigative Look At ‘The Dixie Cream Sweetheart Of A Deal’
- 05/04/2018: Did San Marcos City Council Just Give Local Business Owner A Dixie Cream
…………………..Sweetheart Of A Deal?
- 06/06/2017: San Marcos’ Manske Roll Café Has Closed Their Doors At Hays County
Upon noting how the San Marcos Record this day devoted several whole
pages of straight-forward unapologetic facts upon the matter, and upon
recovering from the shock of this never-before witnessed act of truth
by these signs do understand that Ruben Becerra is now finished.
The Record is the Fat Lady, and the Fat Lady for the first time, has now sung.