Ricardo Rodriguez, Jr. is a native of Edinburg, Texas. He is a former migrant worker, was born to a 16-year old mother and 17-year old father, and lived much of his childhood traveling across Texas and the United States to work in the fields.
He received an academic and athletic scholarship to the University of Texas at San Antonio, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration – Accounting in 1995. He received his Juris Doctorate degree from Texas Southern University, Thurgood Marshall School of Law in 1999.
In 2006, Rodriguez was elected in a special election to preside over the 92nd District Court for a two – year term, and subsequently was re-elected to the office in 2008 for an additional four – year term. While on the bench, Rodriguez was appointed by the Board of Judges as the overseer for the Auxiliary Drug Courts in Hidalgo County, and was also appointed by the Board of Judges to administer the Hidalgo County Drug Court Diversion Program for first time drug offenders.
Rodriguez took great pride in the program, which boasted a tremendous success rate for participants. In 2012, Rodriguez ran unopposed, and was re-elected for another four-year term, where he served until stepping down in August 2013 to run for Hidalgo County Criminal District Attorney. In March 2014, Rodriguez was elected Criminal District Attorney, and began his tenure as the county’s top prosecutor in January 2015.
During his tenure as District Attorney, Rodriguez has prided himself on the many new initiatives he and his staff have implemented. Most notably, Rodriguez created the Special Crimes Division and the Crime Victims Unit, to help victims of crime navigate the judicial process.
He and his Crime Victims Director were recently recognized on a national level for their mutual efforts by being appointed to the National Organization for Victims Assistance board of directors, where they hope to influence national policy for better assistance for crime victims.
Rodriguez also worked in conjunction with all Hidalgo County law enforcement agencies, the Hidalgo County Health Department, the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas Department of Transportation to implement the Labor Day “No Refusal” campaign, currently in its third year.
In addition, the DA’s office, in collaboration with the State of Texas and the Hidalgo County Community Service and Corrections Division (Adult Probation) oversees several specialty courts that provide court-supervised probation and mandated treatment focused on treating issues underlying criminal behavior, including the Misdemeanor DWI Court, Mental Health Court, Family Violence Court, Veteran’s Court, and the Misdemeanor Drug Court.
Rodriguez and his office also participate in numerous awareness campaigns and events throughout Hidalgo County to promote education and awareness of resources and assistance available, including Teen Dating Violence, Child Abuse Prevention, National Crime Victims Rights Week, Sexual Assault Awareness, National Day of Remembrance for Murdered Victims and Domestic Violence Awareness, among others. These efforts aim to increase awareness, promote prevention, and bring attention to many issues affecting many Hidalgo County victims and families.
Ricardo Rodriguez, Jr. is the son of Ricardo Rodriguez and Olga Palacios Rodriguez of Edinburg. He is a devoted husband to Deyanira Medina Rodriguez, and they are proud parents to three wonderful children: Ricardo III, Nadia and Sofia.