It finally happened! Tuesday, May 16th, recently re-elected Texas State Senator Carlos Uresti (D) was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of fraud and bribery, and then taken into custody after he surrendered himself to authorities. For those who watched this story unfold during last year’s district 19 state senate campaign, or saw the video of the FBI raiding Uresti’s offices, you probably wondered what was taking so long. Well, the wait is over.
It is possible that there are still some in Texas incredulous at the idea that Carlos Uresti, a politician who reportedly styled himself after Michael Corleone from The Godfather, could be guilty of such crimes. They might also be equally shocked to find that the man whose wife accused him of physical abuse and had been caught on tape consorting with girls (not his wife) could stoop so low as to commit bribery and fraud. What is the world coming to? However, it is a sad fact that dear ol’ Carlos has indeed been charged as such by the Justice Department.
According to the Texas Tribune, the 11 charges stem from the senator’s involvement in a Ponzi scheme centered on the now bankrupt FourWinds Logistics, where Uresti allegedly mislead “a former client who invested in [that] company in which Uresti has a financial stake.” Carlos also stands accused of bribery, involving a government contract, in a separate indictment.
The senator hasn’t indicated that he’ll be stepping down from his office, but Uresti is planning on pleading not guilty and continues to work in Austin. Equally unknown, is the possibility of a special election, should Uresti ultimately resign or be found guilty and removed from office. In any event, when the dust settles, hopefully Texas will have an un-corrupt senator who will put the concerns of Texans first.