By J. NOEL ESPINOZA
Special to the NEWS
Cameron County Court At Law #5 Judge Estela Chavez-Vasquez recused herself from the driving while intoxicated case involving San Benito Consolidated Independent School District Board of Trustees President Michael A. Vargas.
The judge herself did not respond to the NEWS, but Court Administrator Monica Lopez confirmed on Wednesday that Chavez-Vasquez had recused herself from the case.
However, Lopez did not give the reasons behind the recusal.
“In regards to this case, she just wanted me to let you know that the case has been referred to the administrative region for reassignment,” Lopez said. “It’s another judge that’s going to be hearing the case.”
A Cameron County Clerk’s Office representative said even though Vargas’s compliance hearing set for Oct. 31 would be in the same County Court At Law #5, the case will be presided by visiting Judge Leonel Alejandro.
“There is still a compliance hearing on Oct. 31 at 8:30 a.m,” the county clerk representative said.
The county clerk representative said the compliance hearing is about the interlock device Vargas was ordered to install in his vehicle at the first hearing.
Although the compliance hearing is in relation to the DWI charges, it is not yet known whether Vargas is going to enter a plea at the hearing or whether Alejandro will continue to hear the case.
The NEWS sent a series of questions via e-mail to Chavez-Vasquez in reference to her recusal, but as of press time, she has yet to respond.
Editor’s note: This article has been edited for length.