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John Cuellar

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Jerry Tafolla

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Leo Lopez Jr.

Weslaco bribery scandal marches on, claiming one more

Former commissioner pleads guilty

Former Weslaco City Commissioner and local political heavyweight John F. Cuellar pled guilty last Friday in federal court (U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez) to one count of bribery (AKA in legalese, “conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud”).

The one count may not sound so bad on the surface, but beneath it lies a possible maximum sentence of 20 years in the federal penitentiary; and that’s not counting the money that Cuellar garnered through self-admitted illegal means (bribery and/or kickbacks) that he must one day repay either to the City of Weslaco as part of his plea agreement or in the form of fines paid to the federal government.

Checks worth tens of thousands of dollars deposited into local banks; what appears to be covert recordings of conversations that appear incriminating; vague answers from those named in the indictment when asked what work they did on a city project to deserve payment were all part of the federal government’s 34-page, 74-count Superseding Indictment made public this past early April.



Read the entire story on the e-Edition of our newspaper.


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