Last Tuesday, August 18, Adrian Peña pleaded guilty to public corruption charges for a second time. In 2010, Adrian Peña had pled guilty to public corruption charges however; the appeals court reversed his guilty pleas and sent his case to another judge. The appeals court ruled that the original judge had improperly interfered in the plea negotiations.
Three cases are involved in the latest guilty plea. Two of the cases are related to the public corruption investigations that started around 2004. Some of those cases became known as Operation Poisoned Pawns. The two public corruption cases are the county parking garage project where Peña has admitted participating on the bribery of Elizabeth “Betti” Flores and Sal Mena’s bribery for construction work at the El Paso Independent School District (EPISD).
So far, I have been able to link thirty-four individuals to about thirteen different corruption cases that have been adjudicated. However, there is much information that has yet to be made public because the lead judge in the case, Judge Frank Montalvo, has sealed the majority of the court documents. What little we know has been compiled by court records that have been unsealed or unwittingly released to the community. To my knowledge, none of those that have been prosecuted has been willing to share their version of events with the public.
Until now, yesterday Adrian Peña agreed to answer some questions about what he knows and his experiences with the public corruption cases in El Paso.
I’ve compiled a set of questions that I believe will give us a clearer picture of the public corruptions cases in El Paso and how they have been prosecuted.
For those who want to be caught on the public corruption cases in anticipation of my post on Monday may want to read the following two in depth write-ups about the cases: