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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 17 July 2024

Indian-American Taral Patel running for county commissioner in Texas arrested for online impersonation

According to Patel’s campaign website, the Democratic candidate has political experience at both the local and national level, even serving as a White House liaison under current US President Joe Biden

PTI Houston Published 13.06.24, 02:53 PM
Taral Patel

Taral Patel X / @TaralVPatel

Taral Patel, a 30-year-old policy expert and high-profile Indian-origin political candidate, was arrested Wednesday by Texas Rangers for alleged online impersonation and misrepresentation of identity, a Class A misdemeanour under the Texas Election code.

The Fort Bend County District Attorney’s Public Integrity Division has been investigating a complaint against Patel, a political candidate for Precinct 3 commissioner, in collaboration with Texas Rangers.

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Allegations of third-degree felony online impersonation, and a Class A misdemeanour charge of misrepresentation of identity, found in the Texas Election Code, are the chief complaints. The investigation remains ongoing.

Patel is being held on a USD 20,000 bond for the felony and a USD 2,500 bond for the misdemeanour and will see a magistrate Thursday morning if he does not post bond before then.

According to Patel’s campaign website, the Democratic candidate has political experience at both the local and national level, even serving as a White House liaison under current US President Joe Biden. The Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the arrest and said more information will be provided when they receive further updates.

In September last year, Patel had sent some campaign emails decrying the racist posts against him, ostensibly by his Republican opponent. He, however, did not name his opponent, Commissioner Andy Meyers.

Among the postings was a picture of Meyers standing by the side of a cutout of former US President and the presumptive Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, during a previous campaign.

Patel has worked in diverse political roles and was the youngest chief of staff to serve for the Fort Bend county’s judge’s office when another high-profile Indian American, KP George, was elected as a judge.

Patel had worked as a strategist during George’s campaign in the 2018 midterm elections. Earlier, he had held positions on many campaigns including Mayor Bill White, Senator Rodney Ellis and Wendy Davis.

Patel’s parents immigrated to the US from India and he grew up in Houston, studied in local schools and graduated from the University of Texas at Austin.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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