Ogg also said that Hidalgo’s statements could also hurt the jury pool in the legal case against three of her staffers who have been indicted for rigging an $11 million contract for COVID-19 vaccine outreach to a political consulting group.
“The nearly daily public misstatements being made by Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo about pending felony cases brought against three members of her staff now compel comment to the public by this office and by me, the top law enforcement official in Harris County,” Ogg said in a statement.
“Failing to do so allows a top county official, in her official capacity, to continue to improperly influence those people of Harris County who will serve on the jury in this case. This harms everyone, including the accused, and must stop.”
Ogg also defended the grand jury procedures, claiming that their work is not political.
“The criminal justice process is not a debate. It is not theater. It is the search for truth and the place for accountability under the law. We do not fight out our differences in the streets or on social media and I will not try this case in the court of public opinion,” Ogg said.
Ogg’s statement comes after Hidalgo tweeted on Wednesday that Ogg is launching a political attack on her campaign with the indictments.
“I expect this political exercise to continue through Election Day. (Ogg will) have me indicted. Or name a “special prosecutor”—an illusion of independence since those are still beholden to the DA. She did that before in a political prosecution that went nowhere. I’m not deterred,” Hidalgo tweeted.
Alex Triantaphyllis, Aaron Dunn and Wallis Nader were each indicted on Monday on one count of misuse of official information and one count of tampering with a record, according to court records.
Triantaphyllis is chief of staff for Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, while Wallis Nader is a policy director and Aaron Dunn is a former senior adviser who recently left Hidalgo’s office.
As for Judge Hidalgo, she is not facing any charges.
The allegations claim that the staffers steered a nearly $11 million COVID-19 vaccine outreach contract to a small Houston-based firm, Elevate Strategies.