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AUSTIN — On Wednesday afternoon, jurors convicted State Rep. Ismael “Kino” Flores (D-36) of all 11 counts of perjury and tampering with government records, the Associated Press reported.
Flores was convicted of failing to disclose his sources of income, real estate holdings and gifts received as required by a state elected official. According to the indictments handed down by the Travis County’s grand jury in July 2009, Flores withheld financial information from the Texas Ethics Commission starting in 2004 through 2009 to the tune of $847,000.
A 13-year political veteran, Flores, 52, represented parts or all of the cities of Granjeno, Hidalgo, McAllen, Mission, Palmview, Peñitas, and Pharr. He did not seek re-election for his position which ends in January; voters elected attorney Sergio Muñoz Jr. to fill his spot.
"This verdict represents the public saying to public officials that they expect elected officials to maintain the highest ethical standards," Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg told the Austin American-Statesman. "That accurate and full public disclosure is an important part of public service and that the public will not accept excuses like, 'I was too busy' or 'I just didn't know.'"
If convicted, Flores could face up to two years in a state jail with a fine of up to $10,000 for each of four felony convictions of tampering with a governmental record. Perjury, a class A misdemeanor, carries a punishment of one year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000. According to the Associated Press, sentencing will be held on Nov. 22.
On Wednesday, media outlets said Flores and his attorneys declined to comment.
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The Progress Times is the hometown newspaper for the local communities of Mission, Sharyland, Alton, Palmview, La Joya and surrounding areas in Western Hidalgo County. We have a staff of veteran reporters who work diligently every week to bring our readers the latest news as it affects their hometown area and people.