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Willie Gandara Sr. sentenced to 42 months in prison

By: Ruben Veloz and Jamel Valencia
EL PASO, Texas - Willie Gandara Sr. was sentenced Thursday for his role in the large-scale public corruption scheme.

A federal Judge sentenced Gandara to 42 months in prison, three years supervised release, a $25,000 fine and $5,575.67 in restitution.

As KFOX14 reported Gandara pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud in July.

Gandara 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 multimillion dollar contract involving "Access Health Source," while he served on the Socorro ISD school board back in 2006.

Access was trying to become Socorro ISD's health care provider.

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

Gandara pleaded 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. 

Gandara is one of 10 people involved in the federal corruption scheme, but federal investigators believe there are more people involved. 

Judge Frank Montalvo says Gandara's sentence may be reduced if he continues to work with FBI and leads the government to more arrests. 

 

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