Former PSJA superintendent asks for probation in bribery case

Arturo Guajardo File Photo

Former PSJA Superintendent Arturo Guajardo is asking a federal judge for probation in a bribery case filed against him and other school board leaders.

The former superintendent pleaded guilty to a federal racketeering charge back in December 2007 and is expected to be sentenced on Monday, November 29th.

Guajardo faces up to 20 years in prison. Court records show that he filed a "Request for a Probated Sentence" in the case on Wednesday.

Public Apology

In his request, Guajardo asked U.S. District Court Judge Ricardo Hinojosa to give him probation in light of his distinguished career and years of public service.

Guajardo issued a public apology in his request:

I accept full responsibility for my actions, and formally apologize to my community and school district. I should not have accepted anything of value from anyone seeking to do business with the school district when I was serving as superintendent of PSJA.

Guajardo TMs attorney Reynaldo Garza III declined to comment on the case but wrote in the request that the recommended sentence for his client was excessive and asked Judge Hinojosa to consider probation.

We genuinely believe that Mr. Guajardo should be shown maximum leniency and compassion, Garza wrote. Adherence to a sense of equity requires no more and justice no less. A sentence of probation is more than adequate in this case.

Letters of Support

The former superintendent TMs request included a resume, newspaper clips and 12 letters of support from supporters and public officials.

Among the public officials who wrote letters of support are:

Pedro Cardenas, San Juan Mayor Marla Guerra, South Texas ISD Superintendent JD Salinas, Former Hidalgo County Judge Robert Loredo, Donna ISD Superintendent Eddie Lucio Jr, Texas State Senator Norberto Salinas, Mission Mayor

The letters are dated from when he was originally supposed to be sentenced back in May 2009.

Sentencing Date

Court records show that his sentencing for the case has been postponed six times since then.

Guajardo and the five others named in the case were all expected to be sentenced on the Monday after Thanksgiving.

Co-defendant Rogelio Roy Rodriguez has already filed an unopposed motion to postpone his sentencing while defense attorneys and prosecutors sort out issues with the case.

It TMs not clear if Guajardo and the others would follow suit or continue with their sentencing.

Court records show that Judge Hinojosa had not changed the sentencing date as of late Thursday afternoon.