Gutierrez Asks For County Commissioner Primary Race Ethics Investigation - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

8/22/08

Gutierrez Asks For County Commissioner Primary Race Ethics Investigation

You've seen this story before, but it's being brought up again. In March incumbent County Commissioner Ysidro Gutierrez lost the precinct three County Commissioners democratic primary election to Gilbert Flores. Now, Gutierrez is asking the Texas Ethics Commission to reinvestigate his opponent's' conduct in the primary race earlier this year.

During the primary election in March, Flores campaigned using old signs that said re-elect Gilbert Flores. He was county commissioner from 1993 to 2004, but he was not the incumbent at the time. The Texas Ethics Commission found him at fault for using signs that said re-elect when he wasn't the incumbent, and charged him a $200 fine.

Flores thought that was the end of the investigation, but Gutierrez hopes it isn't. He thinks Flores lied during the investigation.

During the investigation Flores told the election commissions that re-elect Flores signs were removed. Gutierrez says he has pictures proving that wasn't the case. Flores claims he was unaware he broke campaign law at the time. "I did make a mistake. I should have known better, but considering that I was a commissioner, I thought that I wanted to get re-elected," said Flores. 

After the investigation the Texas Ethics Commission fined Flores. "I did not knowingly do this on purpose. I did make a mistake, and I had to pay the state of two hundred bucks," said Flores. 

Flores won the election, and another investigation won't change that. So why does Gutierrez want to revisit the issue? He wants to keep Flores from getting elected in November.

"He is a person of questionable character and would be a stain on the integrity, the dignity, and the honor of this court," said Gutierrez.

Flores disagrees saying, "the gentleman that has brought this issue up again, apparently he's still a little sore. So we have to deal with that again."

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