MISSION, Texas – Hidalgo County Judge candidate Norma Ramirez filmed a campaign commercial inside a healthcare clinic against the wishes of the clinic’s owner, Dr. Shahid Rashid, MD.
Rashid, a former candidate for mayor of McAllen, wants the current occupant of the clinic, Patrick Eronini to leave the clinic. Eronini, a registered nurse, is interim chairman of Hidalgo County Democratic Party.
“I want them both, Patrick and Norma, out of there,” Rashid told the Rio Grande Guardian, referring to his clinic on S. Shary Road in Mission. “They are using my office for political purposes against my wishes. It is supposed to be a medical clinic.”
Asked by text if she filmed a campaign commercial in Rashid’s clinic, Ramirez responded: “That is insane. No.” She immediately sent another text saying: “There is a TWO filed.” Ramirez meant to write, TRO, or Temporary Restraining Order.
“TRO and that would be a violation of the court off the record everything (sic),” Ramirez wrote, via text.
Asked again if she shot some of her campaign commercial inside the Mission clinic, Ramirez did not respond.
Ramirez, an import-export business owner, is running for Hidalgo County Judge in the Democratic Party primary. She has two primary opponents: incumbent Hidalgo County Judge Richard Cortez and attorney Tania Ramirez (no relation).
The TRO Norma Ramirez was referring to was brought by Eronini against Rashid. It temporarily stops Rashid from trying to evict Eronini from the Mission clinic and stops Rashid from disparaging Eronini. It does not stop Norma Ramirez from responding to questions from reporters about where she filmed her campaign commercials.
Eronini was sent a text asking if he knew Ramirez had filmed a campaign commercial inside the Mission clinic. He did not respond. Norma Ramirez’s commercial ran on her campaign’s Facebook page. Eronini is listed as administrator for Ramirez’s campaign Facebook page.
Asked if he wished to respond to Rashid’s calls that he cease using the Mission clinic, Eronini said he would not be talking to any reporters. He warned this reporter that he could be sued for libel for writing about the dispute.
Later, an attorney representing Eronini filed the TRO. In his supporting affidavit, Eronini said:
“I rented an office space from Dr. Shahid Rashid on or about June 14, 2021.
“Dr. Rashid stated he was the owner of the building and that he would prepare a written lease. This was to occur after I would have done work on the building for at least a six month period.
“However, Dr. Rashid never prepared the lease and never informed me as to the amount of monthly rent I was to pay. I received a letter from an attorney, Pete Diaz IV, giving me one day to vacate the premises.
“Dr. Rashid brought several boxes and dropped them inside my office area. An officer was called, and he informed Dr. Rashid to remove the boxes in that only a justice of the peace could order me evicted.
“Dr. Rashid removed the boxes; however, he has continued to harass me in that I have not moved out the building. He also removed my signs identifying my medical office.
“Dr. Rashid has continued to harass me and has been informed as to his attempts to constructively evict me without due process.
“Dr. Rashid is fully aware I am a physician also and the U.S Government mandates us to give at least 30 days’ notice to the patients so that any and all governmental offices would have time to modify their records.
“If the court does not grant me this equitable relief, I will suffer irreparable injury and I have no adequate remedy at law. I am hereby requesting this court to grant equitable relief without notice. I have attempted to work out a plan with Dr. Rashid but to no avail.”
On Eronini’s company Facebook page there is a new message saying he will be moving into a new medical office.
Because of the TRO, Rashid feels he cannot currently speak to the media about Eronini operating out of his Mission clinic. However, he gave a couple of interviews to the Rio Grande Guardian about the situation before the TRO was filed. He also provided numerous images from his security cameras at the clinic, again before the TRO was filed.
Rashid said he first met Ramirez around the time he was running for mayor of McAllen last year. He said Ramirez, who was Hidalgo County Democratic Party chair at the time, suggested they go out for dinner. Rashid said he and his wife met Ramirez at La Fogata in Mission. There, he said, Ramirez introduced him to Eronini. Rashid said he was interested to learn that Eronini was, like him, a healthcare professional.
“Norma asked me if I could help Patrick. I know I was helped when I was starting out so I said, yes, I would help Patrick. I told him I have a clinic in Mission and he could use it to see his patients.”
Rashid said he started to have misgivings about Patrick using the Mission clinic after hearing from another physician, Dr. Joe Ybarra from Harlingen. “I learned Dr. Ybarra had given some monoclonal antibodies to Patrick to infuse in patients with Covid-19. But, according to Dr. Ybarra, Patrick was not following the correct protocols. Dr. Ybarra asked for the monoclonal antibodies back.”
Rashid said that as he was serving as Eronini’s supervising physician he was worried about being liable if anything went wrong.
Later, Rashid said, he got reports from his staff at the Mission clinic that Erononi was sometimes using the clinic for purposes other than seeing his patients. He said they also saw Eronini carrying a handgun on the premises, even though there is a notice on the front door saying firearms are prohibited inside.
“My staff informed me that the office was being frequented by different kinds of people, basically political workers. I saw, through my security cameras, people sitting around. It was as though it was his living room or his political office,” Rashid said.
“I told him, please make sure you limit the clinic to medical purposes. But more and more people started coming. He was putting Norma’s bumper stickers on the cars of patients. He was busy campaigning for her from my office. Then he put Norma’s sign in front of my office.”
Rashid said he sent a text message to Eronini on Jan. 6 asking him to use the clinic only for its intended purpose.
“The next day I received a phone call from Norma. I told her he (Eronini) is to focus only on the medical practice. I do not want him to use the office for political purposes or as a campaign headquarters. I told her he has been doing things that were unauthorized. I said I gave him this office in good faith because you introduced me. It has not been used for a medical practice. It has been used as a political headquarters. He should not be doing it,” Rashid said.
“Norma said, well he can leave that place but he has invested a lot in the clinic. I said, excuse me, what did he invest? Oh, he did block walking, he did advertising. She said why don’t you pay him for all of his investments so he could leave. I was shocked. I said, excuse me, I am doing a good deed here and you are asking me to pay him to get out of my own place? She told me I could destroy his career. She acknowledged I gave him the office out of the kindness of my heart.”
Asked how much Ramirez suggested Rashid pay Eronini to leave the Mission clinic, the physician said Ramirez claimed Eronini had invested $50,000 to $60,000 on advertising, etc. “I was just shocked,” Rashid said.
Rashid said he never charged Eronini any money for using the clinic. He said the arrangement was similar to a licensee. He said Eronini was never a tenant.
“I discussed it with my attorney and we agreed to send him an eviction notice. The notice was served to him on Jan. 12.”
Rashid added: “It is all my equipment, Patrick is using. The chairs, the linen. It is all so unfortunate. They say no good deed goes unpunished. That is the case here.”
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