Judge Lina Hidalgo’s lawyer claims investigation is a misunderstanding

New details about missing context from search warrants

HOUSTON – Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo’s legal team is now sharing more into the criminal investigation of a nearly $11-million dollar COVID contract by the Texas Rangers and the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.  

Hidalgo and her attorneys say there is missing context to the information revealed in search warrants that emerged last month.

The investigation is focused on Elevate Strategies and the allegations of tampering with a government document and mishandling public information in the process of awarding the costly contract.

Hildalgo’s lawyers said the county was working on two projects, one was for COVID outreach, while the other was for data, which they say Elevate Strategies was working on.

“It’s a situation where the facts suggest it’s nothing to see here, move along. Total and complete misunderstanding,” said KPRC 2 Legal Analyst Brian Wice.

Hidalgo’s attorney Eric Gerard declined to go on camera with KPRC 2 Investigates on Monday, but did allow for the examination of emails referenced in the warrant.  The communication did provide additional context with Gerard, claiming the communications prove there is a misunderstanding in the investigation.

Wice believes Hidalgo’s team should have “pounced” much sooner than in recent days with their narrative as to what they claim happened.

“Her team has masterfully changed the narrative. They didn’t like what was being said and they knew there was one play to make and they made it, which was to change the conversation.”

Hidalgo did address the media for nearly 20 minutes late last month admitting, “We were in all conversations. What it should look like? How we would like to design it? And then the concept was built.”  

During that same news conference, Hidalgo did not highlight any initial plans for multiple contracts her legal team is now claiming.

Hildago’s legal team also has claimed early on, that the investigation is politically motivated.

 “The DA is a Democrat, Lina Hidalgo is a Democrat, so this isn’t partisan in the sense of Republican versus Democrat,” said Mark Jones a Professor of Political Science at Rice University.

Bill Miller, a veteran political consultant, agrees.

“I think it’s harder to sell that narrative when it’s a Democrat investigating a Democrat,” said Miller, who also believes it doesn’t necessarily discount the political component, “It can still be a political investigation even though they are people in the same party.”

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