Election for Hays County Judge heating up as two candidates become involved in legal battle

Candidate for Hays County Judge suing Ruben Becerra for spreading defamatory statements, Becerra's wife for emotional distress of 88-year-old grandmother

Sierra Martin | Managing Editor

HAYS COUNTY — Two candidates running for Hays County Judge in the upcoming primary election are currently in a legal battle. The lawsuits emerged over allegations of spreading slanderous rumors and an altercation that occurred during a Martin Luther King Jr. memorial celebration in downtown San Marcos last month.

On Jan. 16, 2022, Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra, who is running for re-election, and Brandon Burleson had two family members engage in a verbal argument that has led to a petition for a temporary restraining order.

Additionally, Burleson has filed a civil lawsuit for causing irreparable harm to his reputation against Ruben Becerra, Monica Becerra, Maria Christina Lee, and Johnathan Wilhelm (also known as Jon Oliver.) Burleson seeks monetary relief of over $1.2M in the civil suit.

According to court documents, in December 2021, Burleson became aware that Jon Oliver accused Burleson of being a “pedophile” and drugging and raping 14-year-old boys in Austin. The lawsuit states that Oliver offered the “fabricated allegations” to Monica and Ruben Becerra in “a misguided attempt to discredit” Burleson.

Court documents state that the defendants (Ruben and Monica Becerra, Oliver and Lee) published these statements by oral and written communication. And that the defamatory statements constitute slander per se in that they accuse Burleson of criminal conduct, injure his reputation, and expose him to “public hatred, contempt, or ridicule.”

Burleson is the CEO and founder of Skyline Entertainment and Party Bus Co. In 2016, Texas State University Freshman Jordin Taylor was found deceased beneath a bus from his company after being dragged several hundred feet.

Lee said in a Facebook post that Burleson is still involved in a lawsuit involving the case with his insurance company, and awaiting trial for multiple Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) convictions. 

The Taylor family then pursued a lawsuit against Skyline Entertainment and Burleson SMTX Properties LLC. The Guadeloupe County Sheriff’s Office ruled the death as accidental with intoxication not being ruled out as a contributing factor. 

“There is no evidence that Jordin was struck by any vehicle, to include the bus itself. Jordan’s injuries were consistent with being dragged under the bus, not being struck by it,” the Guadeloupe County Sheriff’s Office said in a supplemental report.

The Burleson campaign provided a public statement and supporting documents regarding being released from the lawsuit from the Taylor family on their website. Burleson maintains that he is not currently being sued by his insurance company.

“Brandon Burleson and all companies were released from the Jordan Taylor Case. The attached order explains that Brandon and all his companies were released with prejudice (i.e. fully and finally with no possibility of being sued in the case again) from the Jordan Taylor lawsuit,” the Burleson campaign said on their website. 

In 2015, Burleson was booked in the Hays County Jail for a DWI and according to court documents from Hays County, the case is still pending.

At a public gathering at the Hays County Courthouse for MLK Day, court documents state that Ruben Becerra’s wife, Monica Becerra, “began yelling, screaming, and cursing” at Rose Kirk Brooks, Burlseon’s 88-year-old grandmother. Monica Becerra called Brooks an “old ass bitch” and was “only a few inches” from Brook’s face without a mask.

Brooks has petitioned the court for a Temporary Restraining Order against Monica Becerra for senior abuse and filed a civil lawsuit for causing “severe emotional distress.”

Court documents state that Monica Becerra knowingly sought to humiliate and verbally abuse Brooks and the action was unprovoked. The lawsuit says that Brook’s has suffered from extreme emotional distress that has caused headaches, lack of sleep, loss of weight, and fear of leaving her home due to the altercation.

Becerra released a public statement regarding the altercation between his wife and opponent on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2022.

“It is very disappointing when we must resort to violence instead of rational political discourse. Physically attacking and threatening to kill one’s family is a line I will never cross,” said Becerra. “The matter is in the hands of the justice system, and I trust that they will investigate and adjudicate the matter fairly.”

Becerra said that due to his position in the county and the ongoing investigation, he would not be making any further comment about the incident.

The Burleson campaign issued a statement in response to Becerra’s press release. 

“I will not address lies and a failed attempt to distract from the issues the citizens of Hays County want to hear about,” said Burleson. “I am available and willing to talk to anyone about any issues and concerns that relate directly to Hays County or myself as a candidate.”

Early voting for the March 1, 2022, Primary Elections will begin on Monday, February 14. Running alongside Becerra and Burleson for Hays County Judge is current County Commissioner Mark Jones.

The court proceedings for these lawsuits have not yet taken place. San Marcos Corridor News will provide updates as they are made available.

UPDATE: This article was updated to include additional information regarding public statements by the Burleson Campaign. 

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11 Comments

  1. So f***ed up. I’m still trying to recover from what these fools did to get elected over 3 years ago. The Burlesons are such good people and in no way deserve this harassment.

  2. Well its win-win situation for the both of them. Both don’t seem to have a problem looking in the other direction when something happens. I have a feeling they’ll be fine win or lose.
    Mr. Burleson has my vote thoughbfor multiple reasons. My decision was confirmed after reading this article. If this really occurred as stated, Beccera about to pay all of Brandons legal fees, and some. ??

  3. Roooooben . . . favor, calmete.

    No actúes como tú delante de los demás . . .what do YOU mean by saying
    “It is very disappointing when we must resort to violence instead of rational political discourse.” ???

    If “we” means your inner voices are wanting to mix it up, again, be careful, this is NOT the place.
    Why not have them put on your judge’s robe and waive bye-bye to all the nice people
    No, no , , ,not just with their middle fingers. We ready? All together now.

  4. Is the option to be a write-in candidate still open? I Firmly believe I still am the best candidate for Hays County Judge.
    Shameful, just down right shameful.

    1. You firmly believe huh, Abel more like largely believe cause you don’t know what firm is,you just large. Largeful, just down wrong largeful. If it walks like a large duck in a little puddle, and spells “firmly” with a capital “F” . . . then it must be true that Mr Velazgoose largely believes he is the best candidate for Haze county duck.

      Quien, por tener cerebro de pájaro, piensa que no es un pato tonto.
      De acuerdo, repita su juramento de cargo : “Quack quack quack . . .así que ayúdame, Pájaro Grande.”

    1. B Burleson and his family should be audited by the IRS **Only accepting cash payment from college students for their Skyline “party” buses** Shady cash business deals, questionable reputation, inexcusable actions while on the buses he runs…
      No way this man should be a judge! He needs to judge the amount of college students cash he has stashed at his home.

  5. “I will not address lies and a failed attempt to distract from the issues the citizens of Hays County want to hear about,” said Burleson.

    But he will file a lawsuit to distract the voters from his lack of experience or public involvement.

    Who is worse Ruben or Brandon? Its really a toss up. Both are not public servants they are sleazy politicians.

  6. This situation won’t matter much at the end of the day. The best candidate for Hays County Judge is current Hays County Precinct 2 Commissioner Mark Jones. He is the hardest working elected official in Hays County and works hard for his constituents and the entire county. He is the very definition of a public servant.

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