Edinburg Mayor Pleads Not Guilty to All Charges
EDINBURG – Edinburg Mayor Richard Molina and his wife, Dalia, went before a district court judge Friday morning.
They were both arraigned on several new charges in connection to a voter fraud investigation and both plead not guilty to all the charges.
In addition to the Molinas, a third person was arraigned along with them in connection to the investigation.
Julio Carranza is charged with one count of engaging in organized election fraud and two counts of illegal voting, bringing the total number of 20 people who have been charged in the investigation.
Carranza also pleaded not guilty.
According to state records, the mayor and Carranza are business partners.
Gonzalez was connected to Carranza Development; he worked there at one time.
State records show Julio Carranza is the owner of Carranza Development.
County records show Carranza Development, was once an owner of that property Gonzalez claimed was his address in the fraudulent voter change of address form.
State records show Carranza and Molina own a company together called "Team Edinburg investments LLC".
This past year, the city of Edinburg awarded contracts to Carranza Development.
The contracts were from the Housing Assistance Program.
Carranza was also appointed to the Edinburg Economic Development Council when the mayor was elected.
Carranza then had what appears to be a well-timed resignation from the council; right before he was awarded that contract.
The state says Molina and his wife had numerous voters change their addresses to places they didn't live, including to an apartment complex the mayor owns.
The state adds his vote harvesting scheme involved the participation of paid campaign workers.
Molina, as a deputy registrar, signed off on 6 voter change of address forms.
Four of these people changed their address to his apartment complex; four people charged worked on his campaign.
Molina was indicted on one count of engaging in organized election fraud and 11 counts of illegal voting.
His wife, Dalia, faces two counts of illegal voting and one count of engaging in organized election fraud.
View the entire arraignment below.