Webb County Commissioner Charged with Accepting Bribes in Exchange for Official Acts
|U.S. Department of Justice March 19, 2014|
WASHINGTON—Kristopher Michael Montemayor, a county commissioner for Precinct 1 of the Webb County Commissioners Court in Texas, was arrested today on charges of bribery, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.
A federal grand jury in the Southern District of Texas returned an indictment on March 18, 2014, that charges Montemayor, 36, of Laredo, Texas, with two counts of federal programs bribery. The indictment was unsealed following today’s arrest.
According to allegations in the indictment, while serving as a county commissioner, Montemayor solicited and accepted bribes in exchange for promising to perform various official acts. Montemayor allegedly accepted the use of a 2012 Ford truck, which cost approximately $37,015, in exchange for promising to provide government jobs to both the vehicle’s owner and his spouse.
The indictment further alleges that Montemayor, while serving as a county commissioner, solicited and accepted approximately $11,000 in cash, as well as electronics equipment worth approximately $2,700 from a businessman who, unbeknownst to Montemayor, was an undercover law enforcement agent. The indictment alleges that Montemayor promised to take official action to promote the business interests of the undercover agent in exchange for cash and electronics.
If convicted, Montemayor faces a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison for each bribery charge. Each charge also carries a maximum $250,000 fine.
The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Laredo Resident Agency. The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Emily Rae Woods and Mark Cipolletti of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section.
The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until he is proven guilty.