Only two elected officials in Crystal City, Texas were left unharmed after the FBI arrested six of its public officials under a federal indictment accusing them of taking bribes and assisting an illegal gambling operator in exchange for various favors.
As first reported by the Associated Press, those arrested include the mayor, the city attorney/city manager, two current councilmen, and one former councilman.
“The indictment alleges that these public officials and this businessman solicited and accepted bribes in exchange for official action, such as voting to award city contracts to, waive certain tax payments by, and conduct certain inspections to give unfair advantage to those paying bribes,” Richard Durbin, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas, said in a press release. One of the two remaining top officials was previously arrested on federal charges of smuggling immigrants across the southern U.S. border.
The Department of Justice’s indictment alleges that the Crystal City officials were accused of using “their official positions to enrich themselves by soliciting and accepting bribes from persons seeking to do business” since February 2015.
Joel Barajas, the remaining councilman not arrested, said additionally that the city has about $2 million in unpaid bills and was facing possible bankruptcy.