Video shows officials making illegal cash contributions
Thu, 23 May 2013 01:26:47 GMT —
Video that allegedly shows La Joya Independent School District board members and Palmview city employees discussing illegal cash contributions was revealed to the media today.
Lawyer Javier Pena, who represents former La Joya ISD Board President Arnold Ochoa said the video proves how rampant corruption is in the two organizations.
The video, obtained by Pena and Ochoa through an open records request, allegedly took place after a city hall meeting in Palmview in January.
Pena told Action 4 the people in the video are members of a political party called 'Team Liberty' and that its members were conspiring to put their candidates into prominent positions.
We have proof in the video that Joe Flores was giving large amounts of cash contributions to candidates of Team Liberty, Pena said.
Ochoa served 17 years at the Palmview Police Department and he became the assistant chief of public safety in 2011.
He filed a lawsuit against the City of Palmview, Ricardo Villareal, Graciela Flores, Joel Garcia, Johnn Alaniz and Joe Flores in September 2012.
Ochoa said he was threatened to be demoted from his position with the city if he did not switch political sides or step out of the La Joya School Board race.
It would have been much easier for him to take the deal, take the bribe, keep his position, but he chose to do the right thing, Pena said.
Since the lawsuit was filed both Ochoa and Pena have been threatened with retaliation.
Ochoa said he cannot find work because his former employers refuse to fill out paperwork confirming his employment.
Attorney Jaime Munoz, who represents La Joya ISD and the City of Palmview, says both entities deny the allegations and are moving to dismiss the charges.
You don TMt have a quorum of city officials or La Joya ISD officials discussing anything to do with city business or school business, Munoz said.
Munoz watched the video today which Ochoa said he got through a public records request.
We cannot confirm the accuracy of the video. I can tell you that after looking at the video it looks like it TMs been cut and pasted quite a bit, Munoz said.