As many of you already know, former El Paso County Assistant District Attorney Antonio Reyes was indicted by a federal grand jury charging him with conspiracy to commit wire fraud. According to the FBI’s media release dated November 12, 2013 the government alleges that “Reyes conspired with others through text messaging to accept cash bribes in exchange for dismissing pending criminal charges”.

As this is only the first step in a legal process we do not have all of the facts yet. However the local media doesn’t bother to ask the important questions and instead gives District Attorney Jaime Esparza an easy out about the various issues this indictment raises.

In a town where public corruption is the norm, instead of the exception the first important question that should be asked of Jaime Esparza is “how many public corruption investigations have you initiated, investigated and prosecuted?”

If the answer is one, or two then the original question needs to be followed with a simple “why”?

Think about it for a moment; why has the district attorney been absent from the numerous public corruption investigations? Is it plain incompetence or is it something else?

The next question that should be asked is; “what kind of mechanism do you have in your office to control official abuse?” This question should be followed with; “if Reyes is found guilty of public corruption do you plan on holding his supervisors’ in your office responsible?”

More importantly, bribing requires at least two individuals to accomplish; the giver and the taker. According to the federal indictment, Antonio Reyes is alleged to have accepted bribes, therefore allegedly we know who might be the taker. The question now becomes who was, or were the givers? If it was one, has the individual turned State’s evidence? If more than one then the community needs to know who they are.

Who were the attorneys that offered the bribes? Are they still practicing law?

These are important questions for a community engulfed in public corruption scandals yet the local media is content with reporting the sound bites uttered by the local district attorney and regurgitate the news media releases issued by the federal investigators.

Is the media’s inability to produce investigative reports the reason why public corruption scandals in El Paso are a normal occurrence?

I firmly believe so because people that should be held accountable are never identified by the inept local news media.

Martin Paredes

Martín Paredes is a Mexican immigrant who built his business on the U.S.-Mexican border. As an immigrant, Martín brings the perspective of someone who sees México as a native through the experience...

8 replies on “It Takes Two to Bribe”

  1. “…the original question needs to be followed with a simple ‘why’”?

    Duh, because they are all his friends and fellow Dems?

  2. You do know this was/is a federal case and that a local prosecuter doesn’t handle federal cases, right?

    I mean, Esparza has his problems, but you can’t blame him for jumping out of jurisdiction.

  3. What I find disturbing is that all the ELP corruption happened under DA Esparza and County Attorney Rodriguez and they failed to do anything about it. I went to Rodriguez and Shapleigh back in 2004, 2005 to let them know of the corruption going on in EPISD, but they did nothing.

    When all the crap at EPISD started to unravel, I personally convinced my fellow trustees and the school district to send to the names of school personnel who had done wrong to the DA for prosecution. To this day nothing has been done. The only thing that has happened, is that they have lost their jobs.

  4. When a hotel owner is charged with conspiracy by the federal govt because he should have known that his employees were committing crimes, than the District Attorney should be charged with conspiracy because he should have known his employee was committing crimes.

  5. The media here is a sad situation. Downright incompetent and afraid of their masters to speak out. The media here is happy with repeating each other’s coverage. We only need to watch the news once to know pretty much what is being covered for the rest of the week. Everything is censored by the media as to not to offend some big wig in the community. In my opinion, the media is complicit in the ongoing corruption as they are not seeking the facts. The media needs to wake up and understand that it is their job to seek facts. They are investigators for the community! If you are doing your job than this should not offend you but if you are not than I hope this bruises more than your ego and start doing your job. It is your job to ask the hard questions. There is so much to learn from the DA’s Office.

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