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Lavaca County justice of peace resigns

Aug. 31, 2011 at 3:31 a.m.

Fred Nieto Jr., a Moulton used car salesman,  Lavaca County Justice of the Peace and Moulton municipal judge, is under investigation by the Lavaca County District Attorney's Office.

Fred Nieto Jr. submitted his letter of resignation as Lavaca County justice of the peace to Lavaca County Judge Tramer Woytek on Wednesday afternoon.

"The resignation will be presented to the full commissioners court, at our meeting on the 12th of September," Woytek said. "At that time, we will decide on the process we wish to take to fill that position."

Woytek said because Nieto is an elected official, even though he has submitted the resignation, he is required by law to fulfill the duties of his office until a qualified replacement has been appointed by the commissioners court.

Nieto was not available for comment on why he resigned.

Nieto is currently under investigation by the Lavaca County District Attorney.

District Attorney Heather McMinn would not elaborate on details of the ongoing investigation.

"We have had numerous citizens' complaints involving Fred Nieto and an investigation is in progress," said the district attorney.

McMinn said she has asked the Texas Rangers to assist her office in the investigation.

In addition to his elected office of justice of the peace, Nieto serves as a Moulton municipal judge and works as a used car salesman.

Earlier this month, Nieto was placed on unpaid administrative leave from his position as Moulton municipal judge, and municipal court was canceled through September, according to a notice posted on the door of the Moulton city hall.

The district attorney's office investigation may involve Nieto's used car business.

In August 2010, his license was approved for revocation and a fine of $7,500 imposed by the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles for a total of eight violations, according to the minutes of the agency's board of directors meeting.

Those violations included, among others, failure to maintain complete records, sold or offered to sell motor vehicles without the appropriate license for that type of motor vehicle, and failure to timely transfer title and pay sales tax.

Nieto's license was officially revoked on Jan. 12 of this year, said Kim Sue Lia Perkes, Texas DMV public information officer.



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