Here is a City with 4 of 5 Councilmembers Facing Federal Charges

Don’t forget the City Manager/City Attorney too!

Crystal City, Texas could see 80% of the city council serve up to a decade in federal prison after an FBI investigation has yielded charges against the Mayor, Mayor Pro-Tem, and two councilmembers.

One of the councilmembers resigned over the scandal, a pyrrhic victory as the other three have yet to relinquish their seats.

The scheme was nothing extravagant, just bribery for a contract with the city. Between the five city officials involved, the total amount of bribes was only around $12,000.

One councilmember in the ring is in even deeper trouble, because he was also arrested on human smuggling charges in January. The councilman admitted to being hired to drive undocumented immigrants across the US-Mexico border.

Joel Barajas, the lone councilmember not wearing cuffs, has only been on the council for nine months. Barajas told reporters it was a suspicion of corruption that made him run for office. He will look to the city charter for guidance in moving forward, since he might have some trouble reaching a quorum to hold a traditional council meeting.

Read more about this Texas-sized mess, here.

Image Credit: Flickr User mikerastiello, via (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)