Case closed in political retaliation lawsuit filed against DA

District Attorney Ricardo Rodriguez Jr.

A lawsuit filed by former Hidalgo County District Attorney’s Office employees who alleged they were fired for political retaliation has been settled.

The litigation, filed by Doria Salia Maldonado, Dora L. Muñoz, Rogelio Cazares Jr., Jorse A. Salazar, Palmira Muñoz, Chris Yates and Santos Leal against District Attorney Ricardo Rodriguez Jr. and Hidalgo County was scheduled for jury selection Tuesday.

However, on Sept. 29, court records indicate the case was closed.

“Now, therefore, in accordance with the parties’ compromise and settlement it is ordered, adjudged and decreed that Plaintiffs Dora Salia Maldonado, Dora L. Munoz, Rogelio Cazares Jr., Jorge A Salazar, Palmira Munoz, Chris Yates, and Santos Leal take nothing by reason of this suit and that Hidalgo County and Ricardo Rodriguez Jr., individually and in his official capacity, are hereby discharged from any and all liability from the allegations in the complaint made basis of this suit,” the order states.

The details of the settlement are not contained in the court record.

“On this day came to be heard the above entitled and numbered cause whereby all parties, by and through their attorneys of record, expressly stated to the Court that each party waived the right to a trial by jury; that all claims and causes of action that were or could have been asserted by and between said parties have been compromised and settled; that Plaintiffs shall take nothing against Defendants; and that all court costs and attorneys’ fees should be taxed against the party incurring the same,” the order states.

The plaintiffs had alleged Rodriguez fired them for posting signs on their front lawns, for wearing T-shirts, for displaying bumper stickers and for soliciting support for former DA Rene Guerra’s re-election bid.

Guerra served as district attorney from 1982 to 2014, when Rodriguez defeated him in the election. He took office in January 2015.

Rodriguez denied the allegations in previous statements to the newspaper.

The case was officially closed on Sept. 29.