Tuesday, September 23, 2014
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Kino Flores gets five-year probation sentence

KinoFlores_PopAUSTIN — State Rep. Ismael “Kino” Flores was sentenced by a state judge this week to five years probation following his guilty conviction of tampering with government records and perjury.

According to the Associated Press, state District Judge Bob Perkins handed down the sentencing on Monday where he said Flores, 52, had violated the law and would set an example for other public officials when preparing their financial disclosure forms.

"I am convinced there are no public officials in Texas who are going to hold the filling out of these forms lightly again," Perkins told the Associated Press.

Travis County prosecutors pressed Perkins to give Flores jail time. He could have spent up to two years in prison for the 11 counts of perjury and tampering with government records.

Although the state asked for jail time, Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg said the conviction was most important.

"The message has gone out to public officials that these forms are necessary and important,” she said.

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.

Flores’ attorneys said the errors were accidental errors.

Following the sentencing hearing, Flores told reporters he was pleased with the result, adding that he was unsure how the guilty conviction would weigh on his political work.

After not seeking re-election for his seat, Flores said he wasn’t certain what he’d be doing in the future.

"I'm going to get back to my community," the Palmview resident said to reporters. "I'm going to continue to do the things for South Texas."

Flores represented District 36, which includes parts or all of the cities of Granjeno, Hidalgo, McAllen, Mission, Palmview, Peñitas, and Pharr for about 14 years. In January Palmview Attorney Sergio Muñoz Jr. will take his position.

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