School Trustee Looking at Hard Time

WESLACO, Texas (CN) – A former trustee with the Weslaco Independent School District faces up to 20 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to taking $1,500 in bribes to use his influence in awarding a school renovation contract.

     Joe Marines, 55, of Weslaco, also could be fined up to $250,000.
     Marines admitted on Monday that in August 2006 he met with an FBI informant who was soliciting a contract for the renovation of Roosevelt Elementary School, which was up for bid.
     Marines admitted he took a $500 bribe and promised to award a subcontracting job on the project. Later that month, the FBI informant paid Marines another $1,000 for the same purpose.
     U.S. District Judge Nancy F. Atlas accepted Marines’ guilty plea and set sentencing for Sept. 6. Marines is free on bond.

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