Judge Richard F. Cortez took office as Hidalgo County Judge on January 2, 2019. He is a retired Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Valuation Analyst (CPA/CVA).
After receiving his CPA license in 1973, Judge Cortez became a partner with other CPAs and continued practicing public accounting. In 194, he began providing consulting services, assisting parties in litigation by assisting and determining economic damages. He has been involved in hundreds of cases in federal, state and bankruptcy courts. Judge Cortez has been appointed receiver, special auditor, accountant, and business valuator by various state district courts.
Judge Cortez has devoted considerable time for the betterment of the accounting profession: he has held various positions, including president of the Local Rio Grande Valley Chapter of the Texas Society of CPAs. He has performed business valuations for various industries and companies of all sizes.
He has taught a graduate-level course in Forensic Accounting at the University of Texas-Pam American.
Judge Cortez was elected the eighteenth Mayor of the City of McAllen. He was re-elected for a second four-year term in May of 2009. Since he became Mayor, the City continues to create significant assets and accumulated substantial economic reserves. A $53 million convention center was constructed with no borrowed funds. A new international bridge was constructed, various city parks were built of improved, the McAllen Miller International Airport was expanded, an Arts District and an Entertainment District were created, a Historic Preservation Ordinance was enacted, a Youth Advisory Council was formed, various programs to benefit youth and senior citizens were established, and the city undertook the environment- friendly technologies of “Going Green.” The city’s fund balance exceeded $225 million, and the tax rate did not increase during his term as mayor.
Judge Cortez also served as McAllen City Commissioner-District 1, elected in 2015, and continued to serve until he gave up his seat to run for Hidalgo County Judge.