NEWS 8 INVESTIGATES
DALLAS - A third member of the politically prominent Medrano family has been indicted on charges of illegal voting.
The indictment of Carlos Medrano comes as a part of special investigation by the Texas Attorney General and in the wake of a News 8 investigation into voting irregularities in West Dallas last year.
"It's about time they got caught," said former Dallas County Justice of the Peace Luis Sepulveda. "Everybody knows they've been doing this since the 80s, and no one's been able to catch them."
Sepulveda was responding to news that Carlos Medrano, the man who unseated him last year, was indicted for illegal voting. Soon after his narrow loss in March of 2010, Sepulveda and News 8 went door-to-door, talking to voters who told of strangers collecting their mail-in ballots.
The investigation intensified when News 8 discovered two of Carlos Medrano's nieces voted from an address in Dallas, when they actually lived at a house in Mesquite.
Sepulveda later filed civil and criminal complaints alleging voter fraud.
While he lost his civil case, the Texas Attorney General took on the criminal case now being heard by a grand jury in Rockwall.
Sylvia and Raquel Medrano were indicted earlier this year for illegal voting.
Now their uncle, Justice of the Peace Carlos Medrano, has been indicted for allegedly coercing them to change their address.
"This is a travesty of justice,” Medrano's attorney, Ted Lyon, told News 8. “I'm confident my client will be exonerated. This investigation and indictment is purely political. If it were not, then the case would have been filed in Dallas County, not Rockwall County."
While Justice Medrano is expected to step down pending his trial, Sepulveda does not expect to be asked to take back the post he held for ten years.
He does, however, expect justice to be served.
"If you are coming in, and we are asking people to come in and vote, and if their votes are going to count, it's time to clean up the system,” Sepulveda said.