Ex-public relations consultant to enter plea in corruption case

EL PASO, Texas - Marc Schwartz is scheduled to appear before Judge Frank Montalvo on Friday for a plea hearing. Usually suspects plead guilty during these hearings.

Schwartz was a public relations consultant with Access Healthsource.

According to the indictment, Access CEO and president Frank Apodaca, his public relations consultant Schwartz, attorney Luther Jones and Jones' sometimes legal partner, attorney David Escobar allegedly worked together with other unnamed and un-charged co-conspirators to bribe Ysleta Independent School District and Socorro Independent School District trustees, along with members of county commissioners and city council so they'd choose Access as the entity's health care provider in 2005.

Court documents from 2007 indicate investigators wiretapped Schwartz as they collected evidence. The other two wiretaps were Betti Flores' son, David Navarro, and Adrian Peña, who pleaded guilty in the corruption case and is appealing his sentence.

The indictment unsealed in September 2010 describes a conspiracy that involves elected officials from different school districts and even city council, along with businessmen and attorneys -- all accused of scheming to give a company called Access the contracts to administer employees' health plans for the El Paso, Ysleta and Socorro ISDs, the city and the county of El Paso.

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