State Representatives are calling on Senator Carlos Uresti to resign despite his plans to appeal after a jury found him guilty on 11 felony counts.
Jurors agreed that Uresti and his business partner defrauded investors out of millions of dollars in a ponzi scheme disguised as an oil service company.
“The jury has clearly decided that Mr. Uresti is guilty,” State Representative Roland Gutierrez said. "Obviously we took the news very hard, but it's obviously time to move on and time to start a healing process in all of this."
Gutierrez represents District 119 in southeast San Antonio. His district overlaps senator Uresti's.
Gutierrez says that over the next two weeks, he will discuss with his constituents on how to move forward and hopes that Uresti will keep the community's best interest in mind following his announcement to appeal the court ruling.
“It's my hope that he evaluates what's best for the City of San Antonio, what's best for his constituency from San Antonio all the way to west Texas," Gutierrez said.
Gutierrez added that he hopes Uresti considers resigning.
Uresti's political career spans two decades. He was first elected in 1997 as state representative. In 2006, he was elected to the state senate. In 2016, Uresti was re-elected so he could serve through 2020, but he can only serve if his appeal is working through court, according to St. Mary's University Law professor Gerald Reamey.
However, Professor Ready also says that the chances of Uresti being granted an appeal are not in his favor and, even if he was granted an appeal, it could takes years.
That’s time that Gutierrez says the Democratic Party can’t afford.
"He understands that we need to have representation come January,” Gutierrez said. “We need to have someone that is actually seated at the capitol."
Less than 24 hours after the verdict, the Texas Senate Democratic Caucus released a statement calling on Uresti to resign.
Lt. Governor Dan Patrick also announced that he was removing Uresti from his committee assignments. He released the following statement:
“As lieutenant governor, I do not have the authority to remove Sen. Uresti from the Texas Senate but I have notified his office that he will be relieved of his committee assignments, effective immediately. I will replace him in those positions shortly so that the work of these committees can continue to move forward.”
It's unclear who will run for the seat to potentially replace Uresti but Gutierrez did not rule out the possibility of running for it himself.
"My family and I will evaluate what's best for our family, what's best for the future of this district,” he said. “But certainly Senate District 19 needs to have representation in Austin.”