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Willie Gandara Sr. awaits sentence

By: Ruben Veloz

EL PASO, Texas-- Another person involved in the El Paso public corruption scheme is scheduled to be sentenced Thursday morning.

As KFOX14 reported Willie Gandara Sr. pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud, back in July 2013.

Gandara Sr. was president of Socorro ISD when he took part in the scheme.

Federal prosecutors said he took bribes worth $1,000.

The bribe was in exchange for his vote for a mulit-million dollar contract involving "Access Health Source," while he served on the Socorro ISD school board back in 2006.

Access was trying to become Socorro ISDs health care provider.

At one point the company won the contract, but the school board later selected another provider.

Gandara pleaded to guilty to one charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

He was originally supposed to have a trial by jury, but because of his plea deal the judge waived that right.

KFOX14 tried talking with Gandara about his plea deal in July but our questions were left unanswered.

As we reported, Gandara is one of ten people involved in the federal corruption scheme, but federal investigators believe there are more people involved.

As we reported, Judge Frank Montalvo also sentenced former El Paso ISD trustee Sal Mena on Monday to three years in prison and a $176,000 fine for his role in the scheme.

Mena has since been put on suicide watch.

Gandara's sentencing trial is expected to start at 10 a.m. Thursday morning.