El Paso – Federal prosecutors in El Paso have charged 11 people as part of a years-old public corruption case.
All pleaded not guilty and are free on bond after surrendering yesterday in El Paso.
Nine people, including El Paso County District Clerk Gilbert Sanchez, are charged with violations under the federal anti-racketeering law. Also charged with racketeering violations are Francisco Apodaca Jr., former head of now-defunct Access Healthsource Inc., and Access consultant Marc Schwartz.
The indictment accuses Apodaca and Schwartz of paying members of governing boards to sign Access as their employee health care plan administrators.
Others are accused of accepting the payments. They include three past and present school board members from districts in or near El Paso, two from the Socorro district and one Ysleta, as well as former El Paso County Commissioner Larry Medina.
Two others, former El Paso County Judge Luther Jones and former El Paso City Council member David Escobar, are accused of facilitating the payments after they left office. Both men are El Paso lawyers.
Socorro Mayor Willie Gandara Sr. faces one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.