A federal judge in Texas admonished an attorney now running as a Democratic congressional candidate for filing a lawsuit that could have resulted in stopping emergency ambulance services in his county.
Attorney Ruben Ramirez filed the lawsuit in April 2021 in an effort to prevent the city of Pharr, Texas, from purchasing a local ambulance company that had filed for bankruptcy court protection. State and federal officials openly helped put together the deal and avoid a disruption in emergency ambulance services. However, Ramirez’s client claimed the process was “shrouded in secrecy.”
Ramirez acted to obtain a temporary restraining order to stop the sale from going through, which threatened to interrupt emergency health care services in southern Hidalgo County.
However, Ramirez withdrew the lawsuit shortly thereafter when U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge David Jones said Ramirez was attempting to “sneak around” his court in order to obtain a restraining order.
Even though the U.S. Constitution and federal law require that all bankruptcy proceedings occur under federal jurisdiction, Ramirez decided to seek the restraining order in a Texas state district court. Judge Jones stated that he had to assume that Ramirez “simply didn’t know how the process works.”
Judge Jones also said it appeared that Ramirez filed the state court lawsuit in order to improve his own political standing. The judge went on to describe the action as an act of “gross incompetence that put residents in danger.”
The judge told Ramirez that what he did was improper and said that he will “go to the very limit” of his authority to protect his fellow Texans. The judge said that he had neighbors who are at risk of not having anyone come when they call 911. He continued by rebuking Ramirez for getting in front of him on a political issue.
Ramirez has since announced his candidacy for the House seat being vacated by Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX). Rameriez is campaigning in the Democratic primary by touting his experience as a civil trial lawyer with “numerous trials, thousands of depositions, and hundreds of successful negotiations” to his credit.
Ramirez will face former congressional aide Michelle Vallejo in the Democratic primary runoff next month for the right to go up against Republican Monica De La Cruz in this November’s general election. Rep. Gonzalez is vacating the seat to run in a neighboring congressional district.