Former Presidio County Official Pleads Guilty to Federal Bribery Related Charge
In Alpine today, 66-year-old Carlos Eduardo Nieto, former Special Projects Coordinator for the City of Presidio and former Presidio Independent School District trustee, entered a guilty plea to federal charges related to a public corruption investigation, announced U.S. Attorney John F. Bash and F.B.I. Special Agent in Charge Emmerson Buie, Jr., El Paso Division.
Appearing before U.S. District Judge David Counts, Nieto pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud and deprivation of honest services. By pleading guilty, Nieto admitted that he and 56–year-old former Presidio County Precinct 3 Commissioner Lorenzo Padilla Hernandez conspired since May 10, 2016, to defraud Presidio County and its citizens of money by corruptly ensuring, through their positions and influence, that a particular company would be awarded a County contract for a document management system. Hernandez and Nieto solicited and received $19,800 and $8,300, respectively, for their efforts. On May 9, 2017, Hernandez voted to award the contract to that particular company.
On August 3, 2018, Hernandez pleaded guilty to the same charge.
Nieto faces up to 20 years in federal prison. Judge Counts scheduled sentencing for Nieto on February 19, 2019, in Pecos. Sentencing for Hernandez, who also faces up to 20 years in federal prison, has yet to be scheduled.
The F.B.I. with assistance from Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Texas Department of Public Safety Criminal Investigations Division investigated this case. Individuals who have first-hand information about corruption, fraud, or bribery related to Presidio County are urged to contact the F.B.I. at (915) 835-5000. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Monty Kimball and William F. Lewis are prosecuting this case on behalf of the Government.