JWC Justice of the Peace pushes for an investigation and prosecution

Mauricio Julian Cuellar Jr., Oange Grove Journal

An investigation is underway into the forged signature on a vehicle destruction order found by Driscoll Chief of Police Ben Zapata.

The signature of the order, dated Nov. 13, is alleged to be that of Jim Wells County Justice of the Peace Pct. 6 Jose Rodriguez, but Rodriguez said he was serving court in the Jim Wells County Courthouse at the time, and has no memory of signing any destruction vehicle order.

Zapata faxed over a copy of the order to Rodriguez's office on Tuesday.

Upon inspection, Rodriguez found that the signature did not match his, he said, "the J was too perfect," and there was no official stamp on the form, which Rodriguez said he always includes on official documents.

The usual address he uses was also incorrect, and Rodriguez said, there were other tell tale signs.

Rodriguez said he didn't know of any reason why this car in particular was set aside for destruction, or why someone would go to the trouble of trying to forge his signature.

"Obviously this person has been in my office before," Rodriguez said, due to the similarities in the documentation. Rodriguez said there was no name on the documents stating who sent the form in, but Rodriguez said he does want this issue prosecuted, because it is forging a government document.

Driscoll Chief Ben Zapata was unavailable last Wednesday. Driscoll Municipal Judge Ramon Rodriguez said that he believed an investigation was underway by the police department, although he hasn't seen the document in question himself.

Municipal Judge Rodriguez said as far as he was aware, this was the first vehicle destruction order handled by the city of Driscoll, and that it was very rare to get something like this.