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Ex-South Texas city official pleads guilty in bribery case

August 3, 2019

MCALLEN, Texas (AP) — A former elected official in South Texas faces up to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty in what prosecutors call a $4 million bribery case.

Ex-Weslaco City Commissioner John Cuellar pleaded guilty Friday in McAllen, in a plea deal, to conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud. Federal prosecutors are recommending 60 other counts be dropped upon sentencing and that Cuellar forfeits $405,000.

A grand jury in April returned a 74-count superseding indictment against Cuellar and three other men. Charges included bribery, bribery conspiracy, wire fraud and counts related to three construction companies, including a $38 million water treatment plant project.

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