Mayor charged with terroristic threat

February 13, 2009 3:41:28 AM PST
The mayor of a south Texas city is out of jail on bond after his arrest for allegedly threatening to kill a local commissioner. Deputies in Starr County on Thursday arrested La Grulla Mayor Oscar Gonzalez, 41, on a charge of making a terroristic threat. He is accused of using a phone to threaten to kill city commissioner Joel Zarate, the McAllen Monitor reported in its online edition Thursday.

The two are likely opponents in the town's upcoming mayoral election in May.

Gonzalez was released from jail after posting a $1,000 bond and has filed a lawsuit against Zarate accusing him of making a false accusation for political gain.

Jail records did not list an attorney for Gonzalez, a jail spokesman told The Associated Press.

Starr County attorney Victor Canales, who would not disclose information from the complaint until it is filed next week, said he and a justice of the peace had sufficient evidence to issue a warrant for the mayor's arrest.

"It's political -- it's all political," Gonzalez said. He also said all the public officials in Starr County were "like a bunch of used nails -- they're crooked."

La Grulla is a U.S.-Mexico border town about 220 miles south of San Antonio.

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