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Texas Sheriff Still Holds Office, Even After Conviction


September-October 1994

A Texas sheriff continues to run local law enforcement despite being convicted on charges that he took $151,600 in bribes from a drug dealer in the county jail ("The Sheriff Is In -- For Now," Law Enforcement News, Sept. 30, 1994, p. 4). The local Republican Party is trying to get Hidalgo Country Sheriff Brigido Marmolejo, Jr. out of office, arguing that his term ended when he was convicted in July. Hidalgo County (pop. 384,000 -- 1990) includes McAllen in the lower Rio Grande Valley.

Marmolejo, who was to be sentenced this month, is waiting until the judge receives a report from the state Probation Department. Until then, Marmolejo holds on to his office. In fact, the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officers Standards and Education said he could keep his position until someone officially removes him -- even if he is in Federal prison. Marmolejo faces a minimum sentence of five years.