State suspends indicted Starr County JP without pay

A Starr County justice of the peace arrested last week as part of a drug conspiracy case was suspended Wednesday without pay by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct.

Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace Roel “Role” Valadez was arrested last week and charged with helping a drug trafficking organization in the region.

The attorneys for the federal government were asked whether he would continue serving during a hearing Monday. At the time, the attorneys said they didn’t know, but believed Valadez should not continue serving.

That same day, the commission was presented with a copy of the indictment. By 3:29 p.m. Monday, the commission issued an order that was disclosed Wednesday which states: 

“Accordingly, effective immediately, it is hereby ordered that Roel Valadez be suspended without pay from the office of Justice of the Peace, in effect until the charges set forth in the indictment are dismissed, Judge Valadez is acquitted of all charges in the indictment, or upon further order(s) of the Commission. It is further ordered that the Commission retain the authority to reconsider this order should additional information not yet received warrant such action.”

Valadez is still in federal custody awaiting a federal judge’s ruling on his bond.