Council member Vidal Rodriguez is accused of obtaining Annette Ugalde Bonugli’s juvenile criminal record and sending it to a woman who later posted it on social media. The woman was identified as Alejandra Cadena Sepulveda.
The incident happened in 2016 when Rodriguez was a candidate for city council and worked as a court coordinator for the Webb County Precinct 2, Place 2 Justice of the Peace. In October 2017, Rodriguez was found guilty of disclosing his former political opponent’s record and sentenced to one-year probation. He received deferred adjudication for accessing the record.
On Friday, a judge ruled Rodriguez and Sepulveda will each have to pay Bonugli 100-thousand dollars in damages and 250-thousand in punitive damages. Bonugli says she’s satisfied with the outcome but wants a public apology
“Not to me but to the community, to the citizens of Laredo. To the youth, to any child that has ever been convicted or accused of a crime that they did when they were little, they deserve an apology. He doesn’t have the right to expose not only mine but any juvenile’s criminal record.”
But Rodriguez’s attorney says the case is still not over.
“That judgment is not final, normally it takes about 30 days for that judgment to be final, so at this point in time, it’s not finalized. In the meantime, what we did was file a motion to a new trial and a motion to reconsider that judgment.”
Chu says the damages awarded to Bonugli do not match what Bonugli allegedly suffered.