HIDALGO COUNTY, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Federal officials have convicted a La Joya Independent School District (ISD) board member on extortion charges.

On Thursday, Oscar “Coach” Salinas, 48, pleaded guilty to abusing his power as a school board member. As part of his guilty plea, he admitted to threatening to cancel a company’s contract with the school district if he did not receive monetary incentives.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Salinas had an agreement with L&G Engineering to receive personal payments for the district’s contracts with the company.

La Joya ISD also had a contract with Ruth Villarreal insurance. When Salinas learned that the CEO of L&G was supporting Ruth Villarreal’s husband, Everardo Villarreal, in a Hidalgo County commissioner election, he demanded more money from L&G, according to court documents.

However, L&G terminated the payments to Salinas after this. Salinas subsequently voted to terminate La Joya ISD’s contract with L&G, according to court documents.

Salinas was arrested through a federal investigation and pleaded guilty on Thursday. His sentencing will take place on June 16. He could face up to 20 years in federal prison.

La Joya ISD received a letter for Salinas’s resignation on Thursday and released a statement on the incident but provided no information other than brief knowledge of the situation.

Salinas is the third La Joya ISD official convicted in a federal investigation on Hidalgo County corruption.

Armin Garza, a board trustee, and Jose Luis Morin, a school administrator, have both pleaded guilty to fraud and bribery charges, respectively, in 2022. Both men resigned from their positions shortly after their conviction.

Other Hidalgo County officials have also pleaded guilty to corruption charges in the last five months, including, Omar Romero, former Peñitas city manager, Alejandro Guajardo, former Peñitas city council member, and Andres “Andy Morales, former Peñitas Public Works Director.

Salinas was charged with assault after a fight with his wife. However, these charges were later dropped.