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Press Release

Penitas city manager pleads guilty

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas

McALLEN, Texas – A 38-year-old McAllen resident has pleaded guilty to a criminal information charging him with bribery and bankruptcy fraud, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.

Omar X. Romero admitted that in 2018 he utilized a cellular phone to communicate with other public officials individuals regarding a scheme to sell a water tank to Agua Special Utility District (SUD) and compensation to be paid in consideration for board votes.

Romero also admitted he was appointed to serve as the chief restructuring officer of Hidalgo County Emergency Services Foundation on Nov. 4, 2019, in connection with their bankruptcy proceedings. While serving in that role, he obtained at least $50,000 from the debtor’s estate that the bankruptcy court had not authorized or earned as compensation for his services.

U.S. District Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa will impose sentencing Jan. 20, 2022. At that time, Romero faces up to five years in federal prison on each count of conviction. He was permitted to remain on bond pending that hearing.

The FBI conducted the investigation with the assistance of the Texas Department of Insurance and McAllen Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) Roberto Lopez is prosecuting the criminal case. AUSA Richard Kincheloe represents the government in the related bankruptcy proceedings.

Updated November 10, 2021

Public Corruption