Arrested officials are still in charge of Crystal City

Arrested Crystal City officials still in charge

CRYSTAL CITY -- One day after the FBI descended on a South Texas town and arrested six people, including all but two Crystal City officials, many residents are asking what's next. 

"I would think anytime that we have to go in and arrest five individuals involved with one city government, that is surprising and very disturbing," FBI Special Agent in Charge Chris Combs said.

That's exactly what happened in Crystal City. Thursday morning, over 60 agents from the FBI and other law enforcement agencies rolled into the South Texas town. They arrested the mayor, the city attorney who is also the city manager, two current councilmen and one former councilman.

They're charged with taking bribes in exchange for favors while conducting city business.

"For the time being, they remain the elected officials and the representatives of that city," said U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas Richard Durbin.

None of them have announced that they're leaving their jobs with the city. KENS 5 checked with both the U.S Attorney's Office and the Texas Attorney General. Neither has the legal power to remove the arrested city officials. 

They tell us the district attorney in Zavala County, Robert Serna, might have jurisdiction. So might Zavala County Judge Joe Luna. Any citizen could turn in a petition to the county judge to remove an elected official from office. The process is spelled out in a document by the Texas Municpal League.

The two other elected officials not caught up in Thursday's raid are city councilmen Joel Barajas and Marco Rodriquez. Rodriguez was recently arrested on federal charges of smuggling immigrants. Barajas was not available for comment, as he is dealing with a private family matter.


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