Corruption

Claudia Ordaz Perez Texas Disclosures Contradicted By Affidavit

Texas officials, like Claudia Ordaz Perez, are required to file annual financial statements by law. The Personal Finance Statements detail the filer’s finances so that the public may become aware of any conflicts of interest. The filings are maintained by the Texas Ethics Commission. Ordaz Perez assumed her current District 76 seat on January 12, 2021. Her two-year term ends on January 13, 2023 and as reported by us, she has moved her residence to challenged Art Fierro in the upcoming elections. As required by the Texas election law, Ordaz Perez was required to file two Personal Financial Statements with the Texas Ethics Commission.

Yesterday we received copies of her two financial statements via an open records request we filed with the Texas Ethics Commission. They are for 2020 and 2021. The forms cover her finances for the previous year. For example, the 2020 report covers the period between January 1 and December 21, 2019.

Property Omission And Contradictory Homestead Explanation

Part 7A of the Texas Ethics Commission public information disclosure form asks for a listing of real estate property owned by the filer. In her 2020 financial disclosure form, Ordaz Perez listed two properties. They are her house at 11372 David Carrasco, where she takes two property tax exemptions and the marital house at 649 Londonderry Road.

This part of the form requires the filer to identify any properties they own. According to public records, Claudia Ordaz Perez has an interest on three properties. The first is the marital home on Londonderry. The second is her home on David Carrasco, and the third is a cabin in Cloudcroft, New Mexico.

There are two issues with her financial disclosures regarding the properties she reported.

The House On David Carrasco

The first issue is her house on David Carrasco. As readers may remember from our previous coverage, Ordaz Perez filed an affidavit with the El Paso Central Appraisal District (CAD) attesting that Martha Ordaz owns 40% of the Carrasco house. [3]

As we previously reported, Claudia Ordaz Perez has been using a 65 and older and homestead exemption on her property since 2018, although she lived at the Londonderry house. In response to our open records request, the El Paso Central Appraisal District (CAD) provided us a copy of an affidavit filed by Ordaz Perez attesting under oath that Martha Ordaz owns 40% of the house on David Carrasco allowing her to take both the homestead and 65 and older tax exemptions. [3]

However, both of her Texas Personal Financial Statements filed in 2020 and 2021 do not list Martha Ordaz as having an interest in the David Carrasco property. Specifically, Part 7A asks the filer to list the “names of persons retaining an interest” on the David Carrasco property. Ordaz Perez marked “not applicable” on both of her reports. [1] [2]

The affidavit to the CAD, Ordaz Perez is listed as having only 60% ownership interest on her David Carrasco property but on her state financial disclosure forms she attests to owning 100%. Both forms were filed under oath. Both cannot be true.

However, the David Carrasco property is not the only problem with her financial disclosure filings.

The New Mexico Property

The second issue faced by Claudia Ordaz Perez’ financial disclosure form is her omission of her property at 12 Forest View Rd. in Cloudcroft New Mexico. According to Otero County records, Claudia Ordaz Perez and her husband Vincent Perez have owned the New Mexico property since 2018. The warranty deed for the purchase of the property lists both their names as owners of the property. [4] Since that time, each of their annual tax notices have shown both their names on the property.

Otero County values the property at $137,016 for the tax year 2021, although the Perez couple pay taxes on a value of $45,672. [5] It is unclear why the taxable value is significantly less than the full value of the property.

Nonetheless, Claudia Ordaz Perez failed to disclose the New Mexico property on her required Texas Personal Financial Statement for 2020, although she had ownership interest in the property when she filed the disclosure under penalty of perjury. [1]

In her 2021 financial disclosure form, Claudia Ordaz Perez listed the New Mexico property. [2]

To our knowledge, Claudia Ordaz Perez has not corrected her 2020 financial disclosure form as required by the law.

Two Opposing Facts Cannot Be True

Regarding the David Carrasco property, two government disclosures, both filed under oath, contradict each other. The Texas Personal Financial forms for 2020 and 2021 state that Claudia Ordaz Perez owns the David Carrasco property and that no one else has an interested in the property.

However, in the affidavit filed on April 22, 2020 with the CAD, Martha Ordaz attests, under oath that she owns 40% of the David Carrasco property. Both forms, filed under oath, contradict each other. The CAD form allows Ordaz Perez to take a homestead and over 65 years old property tax discount but Ordaz Perez fails to list her diluted interest on the property on her Texas state filing.

As both filings cannot be true, Ordaz seems to have committed perjury.

Part 5 – Other Income

There is another part of the forms that should be noted by readers. Part five in both forms asks the filer to list other income received by the filer. One of the examples is “rent” income, although the form does not require the filer to define the type of income. In both forms, Ordaz Perez listed receiving income from Martha Ordaz at the Carrasco address. In the 2020 form, for the 2019 period, Ordaz Perez reported receiving between $5,000 and $9,999 from Martha Ordaz. [1] For the period in 2020 in the 2021 report, Ordaz Perez reported receiving “at least $8,930 but less than $17,860.” [2]

Ordaz Perez does not specify the reason for the amounts paid to her nor is she required to in the filings. However, rent payments generally do not convey ownership of property to the rent payer.

Perjury In Texas

Both the Texas financial disclosure forms and the CAD affidavit requires the filer to swear that the information provided in the forms is accurate when filed. For the financial disclosure forms, Claudia Ordaz Perez signed both disclosures “under penalty of perjury”. As readers can observe, the 2020 report is missing the New Mexico property and both the 2020 and 2021 financial disclosure filings do not show Martha Ordaz as having a financial interest in the property at David Carrasco. The David Carrasco affidavit was signed by Martha Ordaz. (corrected on November 10, 2021 at 10:50am E)

Under Texas law (Title 8, Chapter 37) making a false statement on a government record is a crime. Texas law, specifically Section 37.06 states that a prosecutor is not required to prove “which statement is false,” when two statements, under oath, are declared and “both of which cannot be true.”

The penalty for lying under oath in Texas ranges from Class A misdemeanor and can be charged as high as a third-degree felony.

Footnotes:

  1. Claudia Ordaz Texas Personal Financial Statement (Account No: 00084239), filed on February 13, 2020 for period covered through December 31, 2019.
  2. Claudia Ordaz Texas Personal Financial Statement (Account No: 00084239), filed on June 30, 2021 for period covered through December 31, 2019.
  3. Claudia Ordaz, Residential Homestead Exemption Affidavits, Form 50-114A, account number 609986, filed on April 22, 2020, open records response copy.
  4. Warranty Deed (201802520), Otero County Clerk, March 20, 2018.
  5. County of Otero 2021 Notice of Value (Account no: R041582), March 31, 2021.

1 reply »

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.