A Weslaco man has been arrested on charges of conspiracy to commit bribery and other offenses in connection with a scheme to bribe a city commissioner in exchange for government contracts.
An 18-count indictment filed in the Southern District of Texas and unsealed upon his arrest yesterday charges 52-year-old Richard Quintanilla with conspiring to bribe and bribing a Weslaco City Commissioner in exchange for official actions favorable to three engineering companies. According to the indictment, from about August 2011 through December 2016, the companies supplied Quintanilla with approximately $85,950 which was funneled through a co-conspirator. Quintanilla allegedly kept a portion of these payments and paid the remainder to a city commissioner. In exchange for these bribe payments, the indictment alleges that the city commissioner used his official position to benefit the companies, including by voting to authorize multi-million dollar contracts for water treatment facilities in the City of Weslaco. Quintanilla will appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Peter E. Ormsby today at 11:00 a.m.
The FBI and IRS-CI conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Roberto Lopez is prosecuting the case along with Trial Attorneys Peter M. Nothstein and Jessica C. Harvey of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section.