TEMPLE — Mayor Pro Tem Judy Morales, at the center of an investigation for possible violation of election laws and destruction of emails requested through the Public Information Act, filed Wednesday for re-election to the Temple City Council, City Secretary Lacy Borgeson said in a late afternoon email.
Morales might have been disqualified from running for the council in 2011, according to the Temple’s city charter.
Section 4.9 of the charter prohibits people with tax-funded income, such as a county job, from holding office.
Morales resigned from her Bell County position as director of the Temple HELP Center in October after that regulation was pointed out.
She also took a voluntary leave of absence from the council after reports of her seeking to delete county emails requested by the Temple Daily Telegram under the state open records law. The council held several executive sessions to discuss Morales’ standing but took no action in any regular sessions.
Mayor Danny Dunn filed for re-election along with District 3 representative Perry Cloud, Borgeson said.
The deadline to file is 5 p.m. Feb. 28.
Although Morales has been accused of misusing Bell County resources, the statute of limitations for prosecuting some activities may have passed, according to the Bell County Sheriff’s Department.
“It depends on when some things were done,” Lt. Donnie Adams said Wednesday. “Investigators looked at all the facts, put them in order and gave them to Jim Nichols, county attorney.”
“Nichols has to look at all of it and determine if there was an offense committed and if that can be proven.”
Nichols also has to decide if Morales only violated county policies and procedures or if she violated laws, Adams said.
“Nichols only has one shot, and I know he wants to get it right,” he said.
The investigation results were given to Nichols on Feb. 11, Adams said.
As of Wednesday, Nichols had not given any indication as to whether or not criminal charges will be brought against Morales.