Edinburg to mull city secretary’s post following arrest

EDINBURG — The city council here is set to discuss the city secretary’s employment status Tuesday, following her arrest in connection to the mayor’s alleged voter fraud scheme.

A Hidalgo County grand jury indicted Ludivina Leal, 42, late last month on an illegal voting charge, a second degree felony, and now city officials must figure out how to move forward.

Though Leal was eligible to vote in the November 2017 municipal election, she’s alleged to have allowed a Mission man to use her address to vote illegally in Edinburg. Investigators believe she did this as part of a voter fraud scheme Edinburg Mayor Richard Molina is accused of devising.

At the time, Leal was not yet serving as city secretary. The council appointed her to the post March 2018, shortly after Molina and his faction won the municipal elections.

On Tuesday, the council will meet behind closed doors to discuss and possibly take action on Leal’s “duties, responsibilities, remuneration and employment.”

Earlier this month, city officials assured residents Leal’s arrest would not disrupt city services.

“The accusation against her is not connected to operations at City Hall nor as her role as an appointed employee,” officials said in a statement. “We wish her and her family well as they go through the legal process.”