EDINBURG, Texas (KXAN) — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced Thursday that the city of Edinburg’s Mayor Richard Molina and his wife Dalia Molina have been arrested by the Election Fraud Unit on charges of operating an organized illegal voting scheme for his mayoral election.
According to a release from Paxton’s office, Molina had voters change their addresses to locations they didn’t live, including an apartment complex Molina owned. This was done with the intent of having those residents vote for Molina in the November 7, 2017, Edinburg municipal election.
Paxton says that the scheme involved the help of paid campaign workers. Molina’s campaign won the 2017 election beating longtime incumbent Mayor Richard Garcia by 1,240 votes.
“My office is appreciative of the many witnesses who have come forward and cooperated with the investigation, explaining how they were lured by an ambitious candidate into participating in an illegal voting scheme to elect Richard Molina,” said Hidalgo County District Attorney Ricardo Rodriguez. “We encourage any additional witnesses who were pressured to engage in fraudulent voting in Molina’s election to step forward and cooperate with authorities. We’re prepared to present a full array of charges against Molina and his co-conspirators to the grand jury for a thorough evaluation of the evidence to ensure justice is served.”
Since 2018 the Attorney General’s Office has arrested 18 people in connection with the Edinburg organized voter fraud scheme. The arrests were made with help from the Texas Rangers and the Texas Department of Public Safety.