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Three men involved in public corruption scandal scheduled to be sentenced

By: El Paso Times, Ruben Veloz

EL PASO, Texas--Three men accused of bribing elected officials for health contracts will learn how long they will serve time in jail.

Two former Socorro ISD board members and the former president of Access health source are scheduled to be sentenced early Monday morning.

Our media partner the El Paso Times reports, Francisco "Frank" Apodaca, the former president of El Paso Access Health Source is one of the men scheduled to be sentenced today.

Apodaca plead guilty last August to one count of racketeering.

As KFOX14 reported, Apodaca was indicted after a federal investigation found he and several other people conspired in a scheme to secure contracts for access worth up to $150 million.

The scheme reportedly started when Apodaca became president of Access in 2000.

Those contracts were steered toward the El Paso county commissioners court, and several local school districts.

According to federal prosecutors, Apodaca did not live up to his company's promises, and cost district employees millions of dollars.

Two former Socorro ISD employees are also scheduled to be sentenced Monday.

Raymundo "Ray" Rodriguez and Charles "Charlie" Garcia are also scheduled to face a federal judge.

Rodriguez is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and Garcia plead guilty to one count of mail fraud in the same public corruption scheme.

Since the investigation first started, eight other people have also plead guilty in the same public corruption case including former Socorro mayor Willie Gandara senior.

Gandara senior is set to be sentenced in November.

Tthis case also has ties to former county judge Dolores Briones.

Prosecutors say Briones placed former city representative Larry Medina on the county commissioners court, as long as he promised to vote in favor of a contract with access.

Briones was not charged in this case.

Apodaca, Rodriguez, and Garcia are scheduled to face a judge at 9 a.m. before U.S. District Judge Frank Montalvo at 9 a.m.



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