4/11/2008

3 TxDOT Employees Indicted For Bribery

Associated Press

Three Texas Department of Transportation employees have been arrested on accusations of accepting bribes for contracts, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Cresenciano "Chano" Falcon, 56, of Edinburg; Ray Llanes, 50, of San Benito; and Noe Beltran, 42, of San Juan, were indicted on a count each of accepting bribes for programs funded with federal money.

Llanes, a highway inspector, was expected to make a court initial appearance Friday. Beltran, also a highway inspector, and Falcon, a district maintenance administrator, appeared in court Thursday and were released on bond, the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a statement.

The three were indicted April 2 in Houston, but the indictment remained sealed until Thursday when they were arrested. The FBI and the Texas Rangers investigated the case, prosecutors said.

Falcon and Llanes are accused of soliciting and accepting more than $2,000 in cash each from a contractor in November 2007. The bribes were in exchange for contracts valued at more than $5,000, prosecutors said.

Beltran is accused of soliciting and accepting $200 in January 2008 from a contractor for contracts valued at $5,000.

"Any allegation of wrong-doing by a member of the TxDOT family is saddening, but this incident renews my commitment to transparency and integrity in all that we do. I will continue to monitor this investigation and if necessary, will take the appropriate disciplinary action," said Amadeo Saenz, TxDOT executive director.

The three men face up to 10 years in prison each if convicted.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

In any organization, where the boss holds himself to the highest of standards and works harder than anyone else in the joint, his ethic permeates throughout.

On the other hand, you don't find employees dedicated to the mission and putting in uncompensated overtime when the boss has been out all afternoon, running with his fast friends on the golf course or watering the titty bar.

These poor fellas were just emulating the boss, wanting to be big-time and taste some action.

The amazing thing is not that our dedicated civil servants can be bought, but that they can be had for so cheap!

Saenz, you habitually tell whoppers bigger than you are, and you're the biggest hypocrite out there.

Sal Costello Sal@TexasTollParty.com said...

I agree, These guys are small potatoes. But, it's a start.

I've been told that Amadeo Saenz has met with Dawnna Dukes Sister, Stacey Rhone Dukes, to help cut some back door deals.

Why would he ever need to meet with her, a small time contractor?

Anonymous said...

Yes, I agree. I hope each of the 3 get the max. And it is a start.

But for Saenz to grandstand and insinuate that these are just 3 bad apples in an otherwise upstanding organization... to that I say horseshit!!

Anonymous said...

Saenz is the pot calling the kettle black!

Anonymous said...

Just for the record, last time I checked in this country you are innocent until proven guilty. You guys are throwing mud at people you don't even know. Let's wait until justice is served. The small potatoes you are talking about who allegedly accepted $200 just might be innocent. Txdot also has hard working, honest employees who just might be trying to do their job and got caught in the politics. You guys need to back off.

Anonymous said...

As citizens we should expect that we're innocent until proven guilty. However, with toll roads and red light cameras, we're not. If the computer makes an error we're guilty. We go to jail or have astronomical fines.

Red light camera means jail time in St. Louis if you don't respond within 5 days of violation.
http://www.thenewspaper.com/ews/23/2303.asp

And I have a friend who's a lawyer in houston who had $1400 worth of erroneous toll penalties due to EZ Tag reading failures. Luckily, because he's a lawyer, he got it reduced to the actual toll costs of $50. Unless we all go back to law a school, we're guilty until proven innocent.

And what happens when Perry and TxDOT force congestion pricing upon us? At 4pm the toll cost may be $3. Then at 5pm it may be $10. How do you prove you were there at 4:59:99 and deserve the $3 cost? They will lie to us and double charge us and do every damn thing possible to make us pay more than the posted limit to line their pockets. These worthless pieces of shit do no real work and just spend the money on gambling (Dawna Dukes), expensive meals, personal private perks, and entertainment for lobbyists at the nudy bar. This money will NOT be spent on new construction because there's no incentive to improve the non-tolled lanes when congesting pricing is in effect. The less they build, the more money they make on the toll lane. less construction=more congestion= more money. BAD!

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:04 pm, please get real. There's no amount of spin and posturing that can cover the stench of TXDOT, Perry and all the rest of the players in this.

You come across like you might be somewhat smelly yourself...

Anonymous said...

This was discover just now, but please try to find out SINCE when they are being doing this, according to BIo, thats where Saenz was District Engineer

Sal Costello Sal@TexasTollParty.com said...

Thanks anon 1:47, I updated the story after this one on the blog with Saenz update

Anonymous said...

On August 26 the three employees who have been charged with bribery and at one time claimed to be inocent but then decided to plea guilty will be sentnced at the Federal Court in McAllen Texas. So, if anyone has plans to see it life, well, you need to get there early, get a seat, and enjoy the show. It is really ironic in that state employees are exposed to sting operatons for drug and alcohol testing redomly and then again you may find a 2% problem annually, but, when a sting operation is done on management as to taking bribes, there is a 100% problem, on a one time in a life time operation. I wonder how big of a problem it will be found to be on an annual bases state wide.