McALLEN, Texas – A La Joya Housing Authority Board member
has been arrested on charges of federal program bribery regarding a city public
relations contract, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.
Sylvia Garces Valdez was taken into custody yesterday after
which she made her initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Peter
Ormsby. She is set for trial Oct. 8, 2019.
According to the indictment, from June to approximately
November 2018, Valdez agreed to give more than $5,000 to someone with the intent
to influence an elected official for the City of La Joya. The purpose of the
alleged bribe was for their influence in granting a public relations contract
If convicted, she faces up to 10 years in federal prison.
The government is also seeking forfeiture of $10,000.
FBI and Department of Housing and Urban Development—Office of the Inspector
General conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sarina S.
DiPiazza and Roberto Lopez Jr. are prosecuting the case.