Local NewsHarris County Judge Hidalgo Accused of ‘Disrespectful’ Behavior at Funeral of Fallen Officer

A sergeant publicly described his interactions with Hidalgo in which she reportedly said, “This is a county event. I’m the county judge and I’m going to stand right here.”
February 4, 2022
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Controversy erupted in Harris County this week after a sergeant with the Precinct 5 constable’s office levied allegations about county Judge Lina Hidalgo’s behavior during memorial services for slain Corporal Charles Galloway.

According to Sgt. Roy Guinn, Hidalgo refused to be seated behind Galloway’s family with other elected officials but insisted on standing next to Constable Ted Heap and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick who were part of the ceremony. 

In a narrated video posted by radio host Michael Berry, Guinn describes a series of events in which he says he politely asked Hidalgo to move to the dignitary tent and away from the pathway for the honor guard. 

Guinn says Hidalgo responded, “I am staying right here. Do you know who I am? I’m the county judge.” 

After Hidalgo allegedly questioned Patrick’s placement in front of the tent, Guinn says he explained that the lt. governor was a part of the ceremony and would be presenting one of the flags. 

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Guinn says he then asked if she was “really going to argue” with him in the middle of the ceremony, to which she allegedly replied, “This is a county function, I’m the county judge, and I’m going to stand right here.”

After Galloway’s family was seated and the attendees awaited the coffin procession, Hidalgo is seen approaching the family to speak with them. 

In his comments later, Guinn asserted that the event was not a county function, but “a family funeral service honoring a life and sacrifice of a peace officer.”

“This was a funeral that his family allowed those in blue to join with them in honoring and mourning our brother. Everyone else in attendance, including you ma’am, were guests. You were even counted among the dignitaries as an honored guest. Your behavior was anything but honorable.”

Following the publication of Guinn’s accounting of events, Patrick took to social media to confirm the sequence of events and conversations and called Hidalgo’s behavior “disruptive and disgraceful.” 

State Rep. Gene Wu (D-Houston) shot back saying, “How dare she upstage Lt. Gov Dan Patrick’s politicization of this tragedy,” and dismissed the controversy as “Standgate 2022.” 

According to a report from FOX 26 Houston, Hidalgo’s spokesperson said she would not respond to Guinn’s allegations out of respect for the family.

During a memorial service at Second Baptist Church earlier, in his remarks honoring Galloway, Heap noted that 74 law enforcement officers had been “killed through violence” across the country last year, and deplored the state of the criminal justice system and the hostility towards police.

“We cannot continue to do our jobs effectively when the rest of the judicial system is broken. This three-legged stool is standing on one and a half legs.”

Heap added that the county was providing three times more public defenders than assistant district attorneys, and condemned bail practices.

“When we have magistrates and judges who are issuing minuscule bonds to recidivists so that they’re back on the streets so that you have to deal with it the next day and the people that we serve have to live in fear,” said Heap.

Community concerns over criminal activity and skyrocketing homicide rates have become a heated topic in the 2022 elections, and recently former Commissioner Steve Radack (R-Pct. 3) lambasted commissioners court for inadequately funding law enforcement.  

Hidalgo held a press conference earlier this week to highlight non-traditional anti-crime initiatives, but she has drawn a Democratic primary opponent in Harris County Constable Precinct 1 Chief of Staff Erica Davis, who has garnered the endorsement of the Houston Police Officers’ Union. 

Nine Republicans have also filed for a chance to unseat Hidalgo in the November 2022 election. 

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Holly Hansen

Holly Hansen is a regional reporter for The Texan living in Harris County. Her former column, “All In Perspective” ran in The Georgetown Advocate, Jarrell Star Ledger, and The Hill Country News, and she has contributed to a variety of Texas digital media outlets. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Central Florida with a degree in History, and in addition to writing about politics and policy, also writes about faith and culture.

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