According to campaign finance reports acquired from the City of Mission, Armando “Doc” O’Caña spent $57,666 in legal representation in a losing effort for a lawsuit filed by ousted Mayor Norberto “Beto” Salinas accusing O’Caña’s campaign of election fraud and bribery.
Back on October 5th, Judge J. Bonner Dorsey, who pinched hit after Judge Jaime Tijerina of the 93rd. District Court was automatically disqualified per election law, ruled in favor of Salinas calling the June 9th 2018 runoff void and instructed the city council of Mission to hold another race.
All being described as “legal services,” here is how O’Caña racked up such an enormous legal bill:
- 7-25-18 – $5,000 – Gilbert Hinojosa
- 8-5-18 – $5,000 – Gilbert Hinojosa
- 8-14-18 – $5,000 – Law Office of Patricia O’Caña-Olivarez
- 9-6-18 – $3,333 – Law Office of Patricia O’Caña-Olivarez
- 9-25-18 – $2,500 – Carlos Escobar
- 10-2-18 – $3,333.35 – Law Office of Patricia O’Caña-Olivarez
- 10-5-18 – $2,500 – Carlos Escobar
- 10-7-18 – $1,000 – Carlos Escobar
- 10-12-18 – $20,000 – Carlos Escobar
- 10-13-18 – $5,000 – Carlos Escobar
- 10-20-18 – $5,000 – Carlos Escobar
So for those keeping tally, that’s:
$10,000 paid to Gilbert Hinojosa
$11,666.35 paid to Patricia O’Caña-Olivarez
$36,000 paid to Carlos Escobar
According to court records, O’Caña is appealing the decision to the 13th Court of Appeals, where we can find our favorite drunk on a good day.
It’s important to note that most of this money was spent using O’Caña’s campaign funds, which IS legal, and when we dived into Salinas’ campaign finance reports, there were no disclosures of legal representation since, hypothetically, throughout the trial, Salinas was now a private citizen (although O’Caña COULD challenge this in court as a campaign finance violation, but that would probably also mean he’d just spend THAT much more in legal fees).
With O’Caña spending as much as he had only retaining two attorneys (Escobar and Hinojosa; his niece Patricia is not named as a retained attorney) I could only imagine what Salinas’ legal bills looked like as he’s hired the services of FIVE attorneys.
It’s also worth noting that $31,000 was paid out to Escobar AFTER O’Caña lost the trial which, in part, could be retainer payment for any additional appeals where he may have to represent O’Caña.
What’s missing in this narrative, however, is just how incredibly removed an office like the Mayor for a city like Mission could be for the residents that actually live there; in a city where the median household income is $43,000, a number Beto Salinas likely more than tripled in attorney fees alone.
Sobering yourself with this fact, again, it really won’t matter who wins this lawsuit, the residents of Mission will lose.