HIDALGO COUNTY, Texas (KVEO) — Hidalgo County announced the removal of an elections committee member with a felony record on Sunday.
During a press conference, Norma Ramirez, Hidalgo County Democratic Party chairwoman, announced Sylvia Handy’s resignation from the elections committee board.
“Ms. Handy has resigned her appointment to avoid any distraction to the task at hand, voting out the incompetent Republican leaders in Austin and Washington DC,” said Ramirez.
The chairwoman went on to challenge the Hidalgo County Republican Party to demand the resignation of their own members and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who she claimed have done crimes just as heinous.
Ramirez cited felony security charges that Paxton was convicted of in 2015.
She stated that the Republican Party’s challenges against Handy’s felony record are ironic.
Handy worked on the county’s voter signature verification committee.
However, concerns were raised over her appointment to the committee when some people pointed at her criminal record.
Handy was convicted of stealing more than $200 thousand from Hidalgo County during her time as a Hidalgo County commissioner, a position she served from 1997 to 2009.
Handy served 30 months in federal prison for her involvement in the theft.
On August 7, Handy was appointed to the Hidalgo County Election Board.
While this is not prohibited by Texas law, it did raise concerns from the public about the morality of a felon serving on the board.
Handy spoke during the press conference and admitted her guilt. She stated that she took responsibility for her actions and should get a chance to work for the public again.
“The Democratic Party is a party of second chances,” said Handy.
Handy went on to cite a code of ethics she took when becoming a member on the elections committee.
Handy and Ramirez name-dropped Adrienne Peña-Garza, Hidalgo County Chairwoman, who they say started the commotion about her prior convictions.
“If Ms. Adrienne Pena-Garza has never been given a second chance, then she should throw the first stone,” said Ramirez.
There is no word on who will replace Handy’s position on Hidalgo County’s voter signature verification committee.