Former Texas State Rep. Jim Solis is out on bond after he plead guilty to his role in a corruption scandal involving former 404th State District Judge Abel Limas.
Prosecutors say the 47-year-old Solis paid for favorable pretrial rulings from former state District Judge Abel C. Limas, including $8,000 in a case involving a helicopter crash on South Padre Island.
"Solis admitted his part in former Judge Limas' use of the office of Judge of the 404th District Court as a criminal enterprise to enrich himself and others....through extortion," the U.S. Attorney General's Office said.
According to court documents, there are three other attorney's involved.
Solis faces up to 20 years in prison and a maxiumum of a $250,000 dollar fine.
According to court documents, Solis turned over $250,000 dollars to the federal government this morning.
Solis, whose legal name is Jose Santiago Solis, is an personal injury attorney in Harlingen.
The indictment against former Judge Limas directly named a Valley AirCrash lawsuit settlement that Solis was involved in.
Solis will be sentenced August 1, 2011.
Texas State Bar records show that Solis graduated from Texas Southern University TMs law school in May 1989.
Solis was officially licensed as an attorney in November 1989.
The Harlingen native served as a member of the Texas House of Representatives from November 1992 to January 2007.
Solis left politics and concentrated on his private law practice but has served a number of local boards and community organizations.
Solis owns a two-story law firm at the corner of F Street and West Tyler Avenue in Harlingen.
According to his firm TMs website, the Harlingen attorney TMs primary practice is personal law in cases where people have suffered severe injuries or death.
Solis has represented clients in several high-profile cases in the Rio Grande Valley.
Among the cases, Solis partnered with Austin attorney Marc Rosenthal in a lawsuit filed by the families of a Valley AirCare crew who were killed when their helicopter crashed into the Laguna Madre.
The families reached a $14 million dollar settlement in the case back in October 2009.
As an attorney, my job is to take care of my clients first; fighting one case at a time, wrote on his website. This has been an integral part of my success.