Justice of the peace placed on pretrial diversion program after arrest for misusing city of Beverly Hills credit card

Charge could be dismissed if program is completed successfully
Lucyann Sanchez-Miramontez
Lucyann Sanchez-Miramontez(McLennan County Jail)
Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 4:11 PM CDT
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BEVERLY HILLS, Texas (KWTX) - McLennan County Precinct 5 Justice of the Peace Lucyann Sanchez-Miramontez has been placed in a misdemeanor pretrial diversion program after her arrest last year for misuse of a city of Beverly Hills credit card to buy $500 worth of food and alcoholic drinks while she served as mayor.

Sanchez-Miramontez was scheduled for a court appearance on Wednesday. However, her Class B misdemeanor case alleging abuse of official capacity has been deferred for at least six months while she completes a McLennan County pretrial intervention program, or PTIP. If she completes the program, the charge formally will not be filed and essentially dismissed.

Sanchez-Miramontez and her attorney, Brian Pollard, arranged for her to enter the program with Hill County Attorney David Holmes, who served as special prosecutor in the case after McLennan County District Attorney Josh Tetens recused his office from prosecuting the case.

Sanchez-Miramontez, who had served on the Beverly Hills City Council since 2013, deferred comment on her case to Pollard, who declined comment Wednesday. She defeated opponents in the March primary and in the November general election to win the right to replace longtime Justice of the Peace Fernando Villarreal, who retired in January. She resigned as mayor of Beverly Hills after winning the Precinct 5 election.

Beverly Hills Police Chief Kory Martin arrested Sanchez-Miramontez after the city’s chief financial officer reported that she used a city-issued Baylor Club card to buy food and drinks for her personal use.

According to an arrest warrant affidavit, Sanchez-Miramontez used the city’s Baylor Club card for personal use at the Baylor Club, 1001 S. Martin Luther King Blvd., and again at a club with reciprocal membership privileges in Irving.

“It was reported and noted on the financial statement, ‘in Irving on Personal Business Lucy,’ by the Chief Financial Officer,” according to the affidavit.

Martin stated in the affidavit that Sanchez-Miramontez, 43, issued the city a personal check for $558.69 for “Personal expense — Baylor Club” but it could not be cashed on Feb. 18. 2022, because she post-dated the check for Feb. 25, 2022.

Holmes said if Sanchez-Miramontez successfully completes the six-month program, which is similar to being placed on probation, he has agreed to not officially file the misdemeanor charge against her. He said he is requiring her to make full restitution to the city of Beverly Hills; attend 30 hours of ethics training, some of which will be conducted by the Texas Association of Counties; and to undergo drug testing in the first three months.

Holmes said if Sanchez-Miramontez were convicted of abuse of official capacity, it would have led to an automatic disqualification from office. He said “in consideration of the taxpayers of McLennan County,” he agreed to place her in PTIP to avoid the expense of a special election that would have been required to replace her.

Sanchez-Miramontez started a four-year term as JP in January.