Adrian Pena pleads guilty to charges in federal corruption case

EL PASO, Texas - Adrian Eduardo Pena appeared before US District Judge Kathleen Cardone this morning.

Pena, wearing a dark blue sports coat  light blue shirt and tan slacks, stood quietly before Judge Cardone and pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, one count of depravation of honest services and one count of filing a fraudulent claim.

In the first count Pena is accused of mail fraud for giving then El Paso County Commissioner Betti Flores ten thousand dollars to award contracts to  
certain contractors and sub contractors to help build the county's downtown parking garage.

Flores claimed the money was going to be used to remodel a bathroom in her home.

The second count, depravation of honest services, accuses  Pena of giving then EPISD board member Sal Mena 13 thousand dollars to award contracts to certain sub contractors to help build several schools in the district the third and final count accuses Pena of fraudulently charging the federal government for construction of the Papadeux project in Arizona.

Pena and his wife allegedly charged the federal government 547 thousand dollars in construction fees.    

Pena worked as  a construction consultant during this time.   

Pena faces up to 20 yearrs in federal prison for counts one and two and five years for count three.

He is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Cardone on October 23. 

Pena had previously pled guilty in 2010 to two counts of mail fraud and was sentenced to more than six years in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Frank Montalvo.

A federal appeals court let Pena withdraw his pleas and decided Judge Montalvo had interfered in the plea negotiations. Pena was released from prison and his case
assigned to Cardone.

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