Municipal Election candidates with charges or convictions

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Early voting continues for the May 4 Municipal Election. Some Amarillo candidates running in these elections have faced charges in the past, including one for assault. 

We searched Potter and Randall County criminal records for each candidate running for Amarillo Mayor, Amarillo City Council, Amarillo Junior College District Board of Regents and the Amarillo ISD Board of Trustees. Three candidates have convictions and one has a pending charge.

John Betancourt:

John Betancourt is an incumbent running for re-election to the Amarillo ISD Board of Trustees. He was found guilty of Driving While Intoxicated back in September 2017.

He responded to our request for comment, stating, “I exercised poor judgement [sic] that is inexcusable and for that I am truly sorry. This situation does not define me or the work that I do contributing to the success of the community and Amarillo ISD. I accepted responsibility and accepted the consequences of my action. I will continue to be committed to the community and Amarillo ISD.”

Steven Rosas:

Steven Rosas, running for Amarillo City Councilmember Place Four, also has a charge of a DWI from June of 2018, but the trial date for his case has not been set. 

He did respond to our request for comment. Rosas says in part, “I am confident I will be found not guilty.” Click here for his full response

Kip Billups:

Kip Billups is running for Amarillo Mayor. He pleaded guilty to DWI in 1991.

In 1997, Billups pleaded guilty to a charge of Deadly Conduct, which he says was another DWI. 

In a written statement, Billups said, “PLEASE POST MY RESPONSE IN ITS ENTIRETY: I covered that in the Amarillo Pioneer article (Feb 15) Kip Billups: Full Disclosure. Deadly Conduct was a DWI. I couldn’t have another DWI on my record if I wanted to get clearance as an interior communications electrician. So I took that charge. Interesting that KAMR would bring this up so close to election. Hopefully you will start addressing issues eventually and less on smear campaigns. Thanks.”

Richard Herman:

Richard Herman is on the ballot for Amarillo City Councilmember Place One. According to a complaint filed in district court in Randall County in a separate case and two other court documents (found here and here), Herman was convicted in Amarillo Municipal Court in November 2007 for assault on a member of his family.

In 2012, Herman pleaded guilty to the charge of misdemeanor assault causing bodily injury to a family member.

After multiple exchanges via email where he did not directly answer our questions about these cases, he did email us in part, “I have never interviewed about all of this because of my kids.” 

We did a full investigation into Herman back about a year ago.

Early voting ends on Tuesday. Election day is May 4.

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