The games of political “scratch-my-back-and-I’ll-scratch-yours” continue in El Paso. Today’s installment is the ongoing Jaime Abeytia saga at the expense of the taxpayers. Apparently, the rampant corruption isn’t enough for certain political figures in El Paso. As of today, not only is Abeytia still under indictment for showing inappropriate images to his daughter he is still listed as a fugitive from Arizona. (1) Even with these undisputable facts, Abeytia still remains employed at the expense of the taxpayers at the behest of county commissioner Vince Perez. (2)
On January 30, 2013, Jaime Remigio Abeytia was indicted on two counts. The first count was for the “sale, distribution or display of harmful material to minors”. On June 4, 2013, the original indictment was reindicted as a misdemeanor “sale, distribution or display of harmful material to a minor”. The other related case involves the allegation that Abeytia inappropriately accessed an electronic device in order to acquire the image he is accused of showing his daughter.
From the moment the accusations against Jaime Abeytia were made public it became evident that special attention to protect Jaime Abeytia was instituted. The vast majority of those accused of felony display of materials to minors, something generally considered pornographic, are not normally given the opportunity to turn himself or herself into the sheriff’s office and instead are publicly arrested and taken to jail. Many times the news media is called for the arrest spectacle.
Abeytia, instead, was given the opportunity to turn himself in to be processed without being arrested at the County Courthouse where he works. Six months later, after being charged with two felonies, Jaime Abeytia’s charges were reduced to two misdemeanors.
A few days after his two charges were reduced; Jaime Abeytia was offered a plea agreement where he was asked to agree to less than a year in jail, 24 months of probation and a fine of $2,000, $1500 of that to be probated. Oh, and he would have had to stay away from minors. Apparently, Abeytia refused as he was scheduled to go to trial on March 4, 2014.
On March 4, 2014, according to the court’s docket, Jaime Abeytia apparently fired his attorney and asked that a new one be allowed to represent him. The court issued an order withdrawing an attorney and scheduled a status conference for March 24, 2014.
This latest ploy by Jaime Abeytia is nothing more than a time-honored manipulation of the judicial process to allow him to avoid having to account for his actions. Many proclaim how the US judicial system is the fairest in the world yet conveniently ignore how some individuals, like Jaime Abeytia, are allowed to manipulate the system. Delaying the court hearing further not only gives Jaime Abeytia the opportunity to continue working at taxpayer expense but it gives him the ability to attempt to quietly dispose of his case.
The longer the process is allowed to linger the higher the chance there is for the manipulation of the outcome. We have already witnessed the special treatment afforded to Jaime Abeytia by the Sheriff’s Department. Are we now witnessing another special treatment in the works for him?
Notice how both the sheriff’s department and the judiciary are connected to a common nexus? It happens to be the County of El Paso. How convenient it is that Vince Perez happens to be one of the elected officials that oversees the budget of both entities. Perez has also recently challenged the Council of Judges authority over the county’s auditor. Is this a flexing of his inherent power for the benefit of his employee? Notice how Vince Perez happens to be the sole reason that Jaime Abeytia continues to draw a taxpayer funded salary while under indictment in Texas and listed as wanted in Arizona.
How can anyone honestly reconcile these facts and not ask themselves, is corruption driving the outcome of this case?
The Arizona online warrants database still lists Jaime Remigio Abeytia with an address in El Paso as wanted for failure to pay child support as of March 10, 2014.
As of March 10, 2014, the county’s website lists Jaime R. Abeytia as Vince Perez’ Constituent Services/Outreach.