EL PASO, Texas -

Late Wednesday, April 6, 2011 Update He was once called "the right hand man" of former District Clerk Gilbert Sanchez. Then he pleaded guilty to corruption and child porn charges.

On Wednesday, Fernando Parra testified that Sanchez and former County Judge Luther Jones made shady, corrupt deals.

Sanchez is accused of conspiring with Jones to steer a county contract to Altep in late 2003 through 2004. Sanchez and Jones are being tried in federal court on two counts of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and deprivation of honest services.

Parra, a witness for the prosecution, said attorney Jones and Sanchez would meet with leaders of private company Altep and would even joke about the shady deals they allegedly schemed. Altep hired Jones in 2004 to handle a proposal for a potential multi-million dollar contract with the county to digitize records.

Parra said Altep representatives went to the district clerk's office in late 2003 when they found out Sanchez was considering finding a way to digitize county records.

Parra testified Jones soon became involved because his friend owned Altep. Parra explained that he met with Altep's Bud Moore and that together, they wrote the requirements for companies that wanted to apply for the contract to digitize records with the county of El Paso.

The purpose, Parra said, was to make it impossible for any other vendor to compete, except Altep. He said he, Sanchez, Jones, and Altep's Roger Miller and Bud Moore had meetings in which they plotted how to steer the contract toward the company.

He said Sanchez came up with the idea of adding a requirement that stated the companies had to be no more than 15 miles away from the courthouse, in case a judge needed a document immediately.

Altep, at that time, was steps away from the county courthouse. At last check, no one from Altep has been charged with a crime.

Earlier, a county official had testified that Sanchez's office had added that requirement in the request for proposals - the document that lists the requirements for companies seeking the contract.

Parra also described the relationships between Jones and Sanchez.

"They had a friendship and a relationship. When it came to the courthouse... he (Jones) would ask for special favors in the courthouse and other favors," Parra said.

Parras also testified Jones and former County Commissioner Betti Flores schemed together. "Mr. Jones aimed to advance particular interests, particular vendors and he would meet with her to promote those interests."

On Tuesday, Flores testified Jones offered her cash for her vote on the Altep contract.

Parra also said Jones schemed with Flores to get Parra a pay raise in 2003 - something Flores admitted to on the stand on Tuesday, as well.

Parra, who used to be the office manager for Sanchez, said he, too had a close relationship with Jones. The two met when Parra was building databases of voters to help local public office candidates. Jones eventually hired him to build these political databases.

"I would visit with him often, even when I was not working for him," Parra said. "I regarded him as a mentor as a paternal figure."

Parra also portrayed Jones as power-hungry. He said that on New Years Eve of 2003, when they were plotting the Altep contract, they went out for drinks at a bar on Cincinnati Avenue in West El Paso.

"We were recollecting that 2003 had been a good year for us. We had put a new mayor into office," Parra said. "He had basic control of the city and of the (city) council and said he'd have even more control if he secured the Altep contract."

Joe Wardy won the mayoral election that year. He has not been charged with a crime in this case.

Wednesday Afternoon, April 6, 2011 Story Former District Clerk Gilbert Sanchez used to dine out on a private company's Pensar's dime, running up a tab of up to $500 -- mostly of expensive wine, a witness testified on Tuesday in the federal trial of Sanchez and attorney and former County Judge Luther Jones.

The problem, federal prosecutors said, is that the company was seeking multimillion dollar contracts with the county to digitize the clerk's office's records and that Sanchez asked for campaign donations and a trip to San Diego in exchange for his help in getting them a contract.

Sanchez is accused of conspiring with Jones to steer a county contract to Altep in late 2003 through 2004. Sanchez and Jones are being tried in federal court on two counts of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and deprivation of honest services.

Witnesses for the prosecution on Wednesday painted Sanchez and Jones as corrupt and scheming. The defense has worked to portray them as men who wanted good public policy.

Altep is not the only company Sanchez and Jones are accused of conspiring with. At one point during testimony Tuesday, a businessman with Pensar, who also wanted a contract with the county said Sanchez plotted with the company at dinner on how to get the contract before Sanchez suggested they all go to a strip club.