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Vinton judge embroiled in District Attorney controversy dealt with legal woes as a lawyer

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- Questions continue to swirl around the whereabouts of the Vinton, TX municipal judge at the center of the El Paso district attorney's office controversy. Now, ABC-7 is uncovering legal issues Roger Rodriguez faced as a practicing attorney.

Rodriguez twice reprimanded by state

Family members of a victim of the Walmart shooting on Aug. 3, 2019 accused Rodriguez of threatening them while acting as a representative of the D.A.'s office

Rodriguez has been a licensed attorney since 2001, according to the State Bar of Texas.

According to the State Bar of Texas, Rodriguez has been publicly reprimanded twice: once in 2007, and again in 2012.

Both times, the Grievance Committee for the State Bar of Texas found Rodriguez committed professional misconduct.

According to documents obtained by ABC-7, the committee issued the 2012 reprimand after ruling Rodriguez should have known the federal civil rights case he took on was, quote, "beyond his competence."

The 2007 reprimand came after Rodriguez ultimately neglected a case. The committee found he didn't communicate with a client who had hired Rodriguez to litigate an immigration matter. 

Fees, expenses and restitution in both cases amounted to $4,550.

According to the legal services database website AVVO, a public reprimand does not keep an attorney from practicing law.

Rodriguez, D.A. Yvonne Rosales previously collaborated

ABC-7 found another image of Rodriguez that sheds light on his relationship with D.A. Rosales.

In the picture, posted on Rosales' professional Facebook page on August 2, 2021, Rodriguez is standing shoulder to shoulder with Rosales in the D.A.'s office.

District Attorney Yvonne Rosales (center) posted this photo on her professional Facebook page Aug. 2, 2021. Part of the caption read, "Many thanks to Judge Roger Rodriguez who also sits on the Texas Correctional Office on Offenders with Medical or Mental Impairments Advisory Committee for facilitating this prestigious gathering." Rodriguez, in the red tie, has been accused of intimidating and impersonating family members of Walmart shooting victim Alexander Hoffmann while acting as a representative of the D.A.'s office and Rosales.

The caption states Rosales met with the Attorney General of the Mexican state of Chihuahua ahead of the second anniversary of the Walmart shooting. At the gathering, the Chihuahua AG presented her with a rosary in memory of the victims of the massacre who resided in Mexico. Rosales posted a photo of the rosary, along with a list of the victims' names.

District Attorney Yvonne Rosales posted an image of a rosary on her professional Facebook page on Aug. 2, 2021, stating, "I had the absolute pleasure of meeting with the Attorney General of Chihuahua, Mr. Cesar Peniche this morning. I was presented with a beautiful rosary in memory of the victims of the Walmart shooting that resided in Mexico."

In the post, Rosales thanked Rodriguez, quote, "for facilitating this prestigious gathering."

A year later, Alexander Hoffmann's family accused Rodriguez of intimidation as well as of impersonating them in an email to El Paso journalists.

In a strange twist, the AVVO website listed Rodriguez as an identity theft attorney.

ABC-7 tried calling Rodriguez's office number listed on the website lawyer.com but had to leave a voicemail.  He has not returned the call. The address listed for Rodriguez on the State Bar of Texas website is for a post office box.

Article Topic Follows: El Paso

Stephanie Valle

Stephanie Valle co-anchors ABC-7 at 5, 6 and 10 weeknights.

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