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El Paso County Judge faces backlash over son violating his own social distancing order

EL PASO, Texas -- El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego is dealing with community backlash following a house party held by his son in violation of the county's social distancing order that the judge himself had issued.

Samaniego told ABC-7 that he was unaware of the gathering on Saturday night, which involved fewer than ten of his son's friends, until he later found out about it from his daughter.

The judge said he was away from home, ironically visiting businesses to see if those businesses were practicing social distance guidelines, at the time of the party.

Samaniego said his son was confused over the recent social distancing order, believing that gatherings under ten were allowed – although the order actually said no social gatherings were permitted with people from outside your home.

The judge said his daughter took control of the situation before any law enforcement agency visited his home.

"So as soon as my daughter came in, she dispersed everyone and everybody left immediately. And they didn't want to tell me because they thought, they took care of the situation. It's been addressed and dad doesn't need any more noise in this busy world," he said.

The judge said he sees the incident as a teaching moment to let other parents know what to do when a family member believes they are following guidelines, when they actually are not.

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Saul Saenz

El Paso native Saul Saenz is a veteran reporter who also hosts ABC-7 Extra.



  1. So “dad” does’nt need anymore “noise” in this busy world? Maybe if you taught your idiot son a little more about respect and common sense maybe this would’nt have happened. This type of behavior is common with priviledged children that go off to school with no boundaries, and the explanation was he did’nt know or understand the gravity of the situation? What school was he going to? One that was unaware of Covid-19 and the serious nature of the pandemic? Tell it like it is Mr County Attorney, your son is just a dummy with wealthy parents!

  2. I sat down next to Judge Samaniego on a plane once, definitely a stand-up man. I wish that the local media would stop creating more strife in a time when everyone is in need of support.

  3. So this means that if anyone else gets caught, can we just say it’ll be a learning lesson and we can get away with it the 1ST time…probably NOT…as the previous comment, they feel privileged and the fact that you dont want more noise is an easy excuse. Get it together and abide by the rules you set yourself to anyone else.

  4. So he was out talking to businesses continuously from Saturday to Tuesday, when he found out about it? Sounds like you run a pretty tight house there, Mr County Judge.

    These are the turds that get voted into office by the “enlightened” voters of El Paso… f’in hypocrites.

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