NewsLocal News


County Judge and Commissioner get into heated argument

Posted at 10:43 AM, Oct 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-20 17:55:59-04

This story has been updated to clarify who County Judge Barbara Canales was speaking to before her interaction with Commissioner Robert Hernandez.

Tensions ran high at Wednesday's commissioner's court meeting.

It began during a break in the meeting and ended with extra Nueces County Sheriff's Deputies being called.


During that break, County Judge Barbara Canales was speaking with County Engineer Juan Pimentel.

Pimentel tells KRIS 6 News he answered a question posed by Canales, and needed to step out of the room.

In an audio recording obtained by KRIS 6 News, Canales can be heard asking Pimentel if he is refusing to answer her. That is when Precinct 1 Commissioner Robert Hernandez can be heard telling Pimentel that he can leave the room.

County Judge Barbara Canales was heard saying, "He's being absurd. I want this man to back up up from me right now. Have him back up. Back up. Back up.”

Hernandez responded with, “Okay, I'm not a dog. Hold on a minute.”


The meeting eventually reconvened and we caught up with both Judge Canales and Commissioner Hernandez to get their take on today's tense interaction.

When asked about the incident, County Judge Barbara Canales said, “I don't appreciate when he gets so close and tries to rule out of intimidation. The problem was that I was looking for an answer from an employee and he was trying to block that answer by telling the employee to leave court.”

Commissioner Robert Hernandez responded with, "The judge was talking to Mr. Pimentel or wanted to talk to him. The County Auditor said that Mr. Pimentel had approved some bills, which he did not, and the judge came and said that it would have been a mistake, if I had not said anything this would have been because those invoices were not approved.”

Because of the friction, two Nueces County Sheriff's deputies monitored the meeting until it ended.

Pimentel said he asked deputies to be called because he says he was being verbally attacked.