Feds sweep up San Antonio Independent School District trustee on wire fraud charge.
Olga Hernandez, a San Antonio Independent School District board member, was arrested Thursday, a day after a federal indictment charged her with at least one count of conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud.
Hernandez allegedly took trips to Las Vegas, among other things, paid for by insurance brokers and consultants in an attempt to influence SAISD insurance contacts, federal sources said.
Her lawyer, Alan Brown, confirmed her arrest.
“She’s innocent of these charges,” Brown said. “She’s a public servant and always did what was best for the district and the students. She was very conscientious about it.”
Brown said the charges stem from statements by Samuel Mullen, an insurance broker who pleaded guilty in November to a charge of conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud, admitting he bribed a consultant for area school districts for inside information to help win insurance contracts.
The consultant, William Haff, also has pleaded guilty to participating in the conspiracy, which lasted from 2007 to 2014, records show. A third co-defendant, Joshua J. Cerna, a former board member of Harlandale Independent School District, pleaded guilty to a wire fraud conspiracy charge for having a role in the scheme when he worked as vice president of strategic markets for Mullen’s firm, the Mullen Pension & Benefits Group.
Hernandez now is being accused of having a role in that conspiracy, Brown said.
“A lot of this is meetings where she was sitting in (with Mullen or his associates) and listening to factual things to learn more about them and help the district and the children better,” Brown said.
Brown called Mullen “an alcoholic and a liar.”
Check back for more on this developing story.