Ethics Explorer A Guide to the Financial Interests of Elected Officials

Sen. Judith Zaffirini District 21 (D-Laredo)

Industry
Marketing/Public Relations
Education
B.S., University of Texas at Austin; M.A., University of Texas at Austin; Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin; University of Houston (attended); Laredo Junior College (attended)
Spouse
Carlos
Committees
  • Administration
  • Business & Commerce
  • Natural Resources and Economic Development (Vice-Chair)
  • State Affairs
Financial Statements

Sources of Income

  • Zaffirini runs Zaffirini Communications, which provides services such as consulting, workshops, seminars and speechwriting.

  • She has received $25,000 or more for services rendered to a lobbyist or lobbyist employer at Associations Inc. and Compass Bank.

  • Her husband, Carlos Zaffirini practices law at Zaffirini & Castillo. He also has business interests in Zaftex Corporation, WebbCo, and Pedernal Energy, LLC.

  • She receives dividends or royalties from several companies including, Compass Bank and Pershing LLC, valued between $500 and $4,999.

  • Her husband receives dividends or royalties from several companies including Lewis Petro Properties, Inc., Hilcorp Energy Company and Valero.

  • She is an executor for the Estate of Delfina Alexander and is a co-trustee in Rocio Gonzalez Guerra Exempt Trust.

Property

  • Residence in Laredo valued at $391,690

  • Office building in Laredo valued at $254,220

  • Office building in Laredo valued at $170,700

  • Her husband owns numerous mineral interests on thousands of acres in Webb, Duval, Zapata and Jim Hogg counties. He also owns 719 undivided acres in Webb County and residential property in Travis County.

Analysis

  • Since 1997 the Zaffirinis have had three federal tax liens filed against them in the amounts of $8,231, $100,373 and $182,279, all of which have been resolved. According to a report in the Laredo Morning Times, Carlos Zaffirini Sr. maintained that he and his wife had paid their taxes. "I'll tell you what I told the San Antonio Express-News," he said. "There must be somebody at the IRS that does not like us. We've paid our taxes."

  • In August 2005, Scripps Howard reported that Zaffirini had spent $12,000 in campaign money on expenses related to her Lincoln Navigator. State law allows legislators to pay for vehicles with campaign funds.

  • In August 2016, the San Antonio Express-News reported that a family fight over a Laredo real estate fortune of sisters Delfina and Josefina Alexander had reached a $35 million settlement. Zaffirini was sued for “fraud, mismanagement, and self-serving conduct” by Guerra and de Leon, but no criminal charges were filed. She is a co-trustee for the entities and will continue to handle the Alexander Ranch property in Laredo.