More public officials on the Texas border have pleaded guilty to public corruption charges. This time, a former Maverick County commissioner and justice of the peace pleaded guilty in federal court to bribery charges.
Jose Luis Rosales, who served as Maverick County Precinct 3 Commissioner, pleaded guilty on Monday to receiving a bribe, according to an FBI statement obtained by Breitbart Texas. The bribe came from former Maverick County Justice of the Peace Cesar Iracheta. Maverick County lies south of San Antonio on the Texas/Mexico border and includes the city of Eagle Pass.
Rosales confessed to manipulating the bidding on a $49,000 contract which was awarded to Iracheta, who owned a construction company. Iracheta, in turn, paid a kickback of between $8,000 and $10,000 to Rosales. The bids Iracheta submitted to the county were inflated to include the payment of kickbacks to the commissioner.
Both men face up to 10 years in prison and remain free on bond pending a sentencing hearing.
Breitbart Texas has reported extensively on the on-going nature of public corruption in these Texas border communities. In February, Ildefonso Ortiz reported the conviction and sentencing of another former Maverick County commissioner. In that case, Commissioner Rodolfo Bainet Heredia and his associates landed prison sentences. Former Commissioner Cesar Flores was also convicted in the scheme. A county employee and several contractors were also convicted and sentenced.
In November, Ortiz reported the Maverick County Sheriff launched an investigation into his predecessor after discovering approximately $700,000 in forfeiture funds had gone missing. In an interview with Breitbart Texas, Sheriff Tom Schmerber confirmed he had ordered an audit into the funds that went missing during the term of former sheriff Tomas Herrera.
These types of corruption cases are in no way limited to Maverick County. Ortiz wrote, “Breitbart Texas has documented similar cases over the years in various areas along the Texas border where connections, favors and bribes are considered a way of life. In those areas which include cities within Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr, Maverick and others, the indicted or convicted individuals have mostly been candidates or affiliated with the Democratic Party.”
The corruption so plagues the region that the FBI kicked off a border corruption task force to deal with what it called the “disproportionate” level of public misconduct.
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas and is a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.