‘Steel-caged death match’: Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo says she expects to be indicted in ongoing investigation

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas – In a Wednesday morning tweet posted by Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, the 31-year-old made it clear that she expects to face criminal charges in an ongoing investigation involving the Texas Rangers and the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.

The tweet said, in part, “she’ll have me indicted,” in reference to District Attorney Kim Ogg.

It is the second day in a row that Hidalgo has publicly discussed the investigation into the nearly $11 million contract awarded to Elevate Strategies as a politically-motivated investigation by the DA’s Office.

Last month, three of her senior staffers - Alex Triantaphyllis, Wallis Nader and Aaron Dunn - were indicted with felonies by a Harris County grand jury in connection to the contract. Hidalgo admitted she had been involved in the creation of the contracted position to KPRC 2 Investigates back on March 22.

“We were all in conversations. What should it look like? How would we like to design it? And then the concept was built,” said Hidalgo.

“Stuff is about to get real,” said Brian Wice, KPRC 2 Legal Analyst, who described the showdown between the county’s judge and district attorney as a “steel-caged death match.”

Directing a tweet at the DA is not a sound strategy, according to Wice

“I wholly disagree with a media strategy that - as they say in West Texas - is all about poking the bear,” said Wice.

Wice believes Hidalgo is trying to get in front of the fallout from the investigation during an election year.

“Kim recognizes that in a situation like this, when your opponent is essentially setting himself or herself on fire just get out of the way,” said Wice, who has known Ogg for years and offered perspective about what she may be thinking.

Harris County Democratic Party Chair Odus Evbagharu’s responded in support of Hidalgo.

“We stand with Judge Hidalgo. We fully support her and we believe she has acted with full transparency and integrity. We trust the legal process will reach the right result,” said Evbagharu.

Hidalgo has yet to get back to KPRC 2 Investigates after a message was left regarding her tweet, but the DA’s Office weighed-in.

“No one should diminish, degrade or dismiss the hard work of grand jurors who spent five months on this investigation and determined that the defendants should be indicted for two felonies a piece,” said Dane Schiller, spokesman for the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.

KPRC 2 Investigates will have more on this developing story on KPRC 2 News at 5 p.m.

Related:

Judge voluntarily recuses self from COVID-19 outreach contract case involving Hidalgo senior staffers

3 Hidalgo staffers indicted in $11M COVID-19 outreach contract investigation appear in court

Felony indictments filed for Harris Co. Judge Lina Hidalgo’s chief of staff, 2 others in $11M COVID-19 outreach contract investigation

New search warrant requests Google Docs in probe involving Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, team


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