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Judge sets trial date for Robstown elected official accused of voter fraud

Posted at 3:07 PM, Sep 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-24 16:28:45-04

The state voter fraud case against Robstown Utility Board member Robert Gonzalez is expected to go to trial next month.

A San Patricio district court judge has set the trial for Oct. 22.

Gonzalez, 46, is accused of unlawfully divulging another person’s vote and observing the secret ballot of another voter, which are felony offenses under state law.

The charges against Gonzalez stem from a 2016 runoff election for a seat on the Robstown Utility Board. Gonzalez was a candidate in that election and won.

His behavior during that election, captured on a surveillance camera at Robstown City Hall, was the subject of a KRIS 6 News investigation. The news reports exposed how a loophole in the state’s voting laws allowed Gonzalez to help 19 people cast ballots in the runoff election. In the surveillance video, Gonzalez also was seen talking to voters as they waited in line to cast a ballot. Candidates are prohibited under state voting laws from loitering within a certain distance of the ballot box.

The Texas Attorney General’s Office handled the voter fraud investigation, and announced the indictments earlier this year. Two others have taken plea deals in the case.

Cynthia Kay Gonzalez, 56, pleaded guilty last month to three misdemeanor charges. Her election involvement had to do with mail-in ballots from Robstown voters in 2016. She was sentenced to a year and a half of probation and five days in jail. Gonzalez also is prohibited from assisting with any other elections.

In June, Rosita Torres Flores, 76, pleaded guilty to unlawfully assisting a voter – a Class A misdemeanor. She also received a year and a half probation sentence and cannot assist in future elections. Flores also was ordered to serve 10 days in jail.