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Edinburg City Council mulls charter amendment that would remove or suspend members indicted on felony charges

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The Edinburg City Council may discuss a charter amendment Tuesday that would suspend or remove any member of the City Council who is indicted on a felony charge.

Members of the City Council may discuss four options:

1) Automatic forfeiture of office

2) Removal from office by the City Council

3) Automatic suspension from office and appointment of an interim officeholder.

4) suspension from office by the City Council and appointment of an interim officeholder.

It's not a theoretical discussion.

Mayor Richard Molina surrendered to investigators in April 2019 on voter fraud charges.

A grand jury indicted him two months later on one count of engaging in organized election fraud, a first-degree felony, and 11 counts of illegal voting, a second-degree felony.

Molina pleaded not guilty.

If convicted on the most serious charge, Molina faces 5 to 99 years in prison.

City Councilman Gilbert Enriquez said he supports the charter amendment.

"Just to give our citizens peace of mind that their vote and their interests are being met," Enriquez said, explaining why he supported the proposed charter amendment. "Their interests are our priority — and not any self-interest from any other elected officials. This is just to bring back credibility to our city."

City Councilman David White said he supports the option that would automatically suspend a councilmember who is indicted on a felony charge.

Channel 5 News contacted Molina about the charter amendment.

Molina said he plans to ask about the legality of the charter amendment.

"It's kind of like a gotcha by one of the councilmembers that I haven't seen eye-to-eye with," Molina said.

If approved by the City Council, the charter amendment would be placed on the ballot.

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