After years of litigation, a liberal state senator has finally settled the fraud case brought against her by heirs to an estate she administered, agreeing to deliver to the heirs more than $35 million in land and assets. But it is the piece of the estate the senator is keeping that reveals her corrupt motives.

State Sen. Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo) was sued in 2013 by Rocio Gonzales Guerra, Zaffirini’s second cousin and the sole heir to an estimated $35 – $50 million estate that was entrusted to Zaffirini for Guerra’s benefit. Zaffirini refused to pay the estate out to Guerra, accusing Guerra’s husband Vidal in testimony of being a homosexual swindler despite the couple’s two-decade marriage.

While she fought Guerra, Zaffirini paid herself large fees for managing the estate.

In the end, Zaffirini’s arguments that the fight was about protecting Guerra from her own husband proved a sham. Last week Zaffirini agreed to relinquish control of $35 million from the estate, but in return, she and her husband are keeping 450 acres of prime undeveloped real estate in Laredo.

Zaffirini has not explained how she is justified in taking the real estate from Guerra.

Zaffirini represents Texas Senate District 21, which stretches from Laredo all the way to Austin, where it terminates less than a mile from the University of Texas. Zaffirini, who signs her letters to the University simply as “Z,” is so close to the UT political establishment that she is often called “UT’s senator.”

Tony McDonald

Tony McDonald serves as General Counsel to Texas Scorecard. A licensed and practicing attorney, Tony specializes in the areas of civil litigation, legislative lawyering, and non-profit regulatory compliance. Tony resides in Austin with his wife and daughter and attends St. Paul Lutheran Church.