Four Sentenced In Connection With El Paso Corruption Investigation
In El Paso this morning, former El Paso County Commissioner Larry Medina, El Paso attorney David Escobar, and former Ysleta Independent School District (YISD) Trustees Linda Chavez and Mickey Duntley were sentenced for their roles in a corruption scheme involving healthcare service contracts with AccessHealth, Inc. (ACCESS), announced United States Attorney Robert Pitman and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Mark Morgan.
United States District Judge Frank Montalvo sentenced: Escobar and Duntley each to 41 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release; Medina, 16 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release; and, Chavez, five years probation with 30 days in a halfway house. Judge Montalvo also ordered that Escobar pay a $10,000 fine and $42,077.24 restitution; Medina, a $100,000 fine and $56,700.42 restitution; and Chavez, $9,000 restitution.
Last year, Chavez, Duntley and Escobar pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail/wire fraud and deprivation of honest services; Medina, aiding and abetting mail fraud and deprivation of honest services. By pleading guilty, the four defendants admitted to participating in a deliberate and long-term effort to bribe elected officials in order to insure that ACCESS would receive lucrative healthcare service contracts from El Paso County and YISD.
“Today’s sentencing sends a strong message regarding the FBI’s continued aggressive investigations of individuals in the El Paso community involved in public corruption. The FBI, along with our law enforcement partners, will continue our pursuit of individuals and elected officials who actions violate the public’s trust and confidence,” stated FBI Special Agent In Charge Mark Morgan.
These sentencings are a result of a large scale FBI investigation which began in 2004. To date, 32 individuals have been convicted of federal offenses stemming from the investigation. Four are awaiting trial. Assistant United States Attorneys Debra Kanof, Jose Luis Gonzalez, William F. Lewis, Jr., Juanita Fielden, Chris Skillern and Donna Miller are prosecuting these cases on behalf of the Government.