Former Edcouch administrator arraigned on theft charge

EDINBURG — Edcouch’s former interim city manager entered a not guilty plea Monday to allegations he stole 1,220 gallons of water.

Eduardo Gonzalez, 69, appeared in court for his arraignment on a count of theft by a public servant valued between $750 and $2,500.

He remains free on a $10,000 personal recognizance bond.

Authorities arrested Gonzalez last May and accused him of using his position to have a new water meter and water tap installed on a property he owns without paying for the installation, the water tap fee or usage fees accrued between September 2018 and April 2019, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Police also arrested former Edcouch water department supervisor Erica Saenz in the case and charged her with abuse of official capacity.

A search of court records did not return an indictment against Saenz.

Police said at the time that Saenz instructed city staff to install the equipment on Gonzalez’s property.

As for Gonzalez, this isn’t the first time he’s been in hot water with authorities.

In 2013, a Hidalgo County grand jury indicted him on two counts of misuse of official information and a count of tampering with a government record.

The indictment alleges he used his position as a city alderman in 2011 to make a false entry on a bid proposal for solid waste and brush collection submitted by Quality Waste Management to the city of Edcouch and disclosed information about the proposal that wasn’t public to an individual.

He reached a plea deal in that case and entered a guilty plea to a count of tampering with a government record.

The other two counts were dismissed.

He received two years probation.