Edinburg officer no billed by grand jury

EDINBURG — A Hidalgo County grand jury determined Tuesday there was insufficient evidence to charge a former Edinburg police officer with official oppression and tampering with a government record.

The grand jury no billed the charges against former Edinburg officer Armando Celedon, Hidalgo County District attorney Ricardo Rodriguez confirmed Tuesday evening.

Celedon, a 16-year veteran of the police department and the former president of the police union, was fired in late July after an internal investigation convinced Edinburg Police Chief Cesar Torres that Celedon had acted outside of the law when he told a woman who was trying to pay her husband’s citation that she could forge his signature on a municipal court form.

Edinburg Municipal Judge Armando Guerra agreed with that assessment, and a week later, in early August, Guerra arraigned Celedon on the charges.

At the time, Edinburg Municipal Judge Toribio “Terry” Palacios told The Monitor he did not believe Celedon’s actions met the criminal standard.

And on Tuesday, a grand jury unknowingly agreed with Palacios.

It’s unclear what sort of implications the no bill may have on Celedon’s termination, which some inside the police department believe was a form of retaliation because of Celedon’s ties to another investigation against an assistant chief.

Torres, however, has denied those allegations and said he based his actions on a criminal and internal investigation into the matter.