Rocha Jr. is facing criticism for his 2005 DWI conviction in Texas after being elected National LULAC President at the 86th LULAC National Convention in Salt Lake City.
By H. Nelson Goodson
Hispanic News Network U.S.A.
July 22, 2015
Washington, D.C. – The Newly elected National LULAC President Roger C. Rocha Jr., 45, is now facing criticism by LULAC members for his 2005 Texas DWI misdemeanor conviction in Bexar County. Rocha was sentenced to six months in jail, 60 hours of community service and one year probation. His Bexar County case was transferred to Webb County to serve his time and probation.
LULAC members began to circulate Rocha’s conviction mugshot and documented open records file from the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Some members have raised question’s about Rocha’s “good moral character” to be their National President, but the National LULAC Constitution doesn’t disqualify any LULAC good standing member for having a prior conviction from running or becoming National LULAC President or a Board member. The LULAC National Constitution only refers that a member seeking higher office within the the non-profit organization must have “good moral character” (Article VIII, Sec. 4 (c)).
According to the Bexar County Texas DWI conviction, Rocha’s attorney was Luis Roberto Verá Jr. who was the election judge last year at the 85th National LULAC Convention that decided along with former termed-out National LULAC President Margaret Moran to cancel the elections because Rocha who was running for president in 2014 might not win. It was the first time, that a LULAC National Convention was ever canceled in 85 years. Verá argued that the elections were canceled because of a filed TRO in New York.
Verá was also the election judge at the Salt Lake City 86th National LULAC Convention as well. Verá should have recused himself for conflict of interest from the election, since Rocha was running again. Rocha, Verá and Moran have very close working ties.
Rocha received 385 votes and Magdalena “Maggie” Rivera from Illinois received 160 votes. Rivera was elected President by the membership in NY, but Moran, Verá and Brent Wilkes, the executive director of National LULAC failed to recognize her election to office. Two lawsuits were filed in Texas and New York pertaining to last year’s elections.
Another election mishap, New Mexico State Representative Patricia Roybal Caballero was elected LULAC National Treasurer, despite being prohibited from doing so. According to LULAC’s Constitution Article VIII, Sec. 4 (f) Roybal Caballero could “not hold an elective or appointive political office at the time of his or her election or appointment or at any time during their tenure of LULAC Office.” Then why was Roybal Caballero included as a candidate for National LULAC Treasurer’s position? Rocha’s supporters are saying, Roybal Caballero is not getting paid as a NM state representative, but she is an elected political official and that should automatically disqualify her from becoming a LULAC National Treasurer.
According to the Voice of the Mainland blog, “Paloma Zuleta, a spokeswoman for the Washington, D.C.-based LULAC, said Caballero’s pension and per diems don’t count. “Our lead council has reviewed her case and said it was fit for her to run for the position,” Zuleta said.
Caballero also previously served as LULAC’s national parliamentarian despite objections.”
The newly elected National LULAC Vice President Gabriel Y. Rosales was arrested and charged for possession of a controlled sustance in 1996, according to Texas court records. Verá was Rosales attorney at the time. The Rosales case was later dismissed by request of the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office.
The usual top National LULAC Executive and Board members known as the power shakers and brokers are accused of not having any professional ethics by its own membership. One thing is constant according to members, the leadership at the national level does manipulate and interpret the LULAC Constitution and Bylaws for their own personal benefit and convenience when needed to control their membership, councils and especially funds.