A Travis County jury Wednesday found Mr. Ten Percent 100 percent guilty.
The jury found that Rep. Kino Flores, known in Hidalgo County as Mr. Ten Percent for taking his cut from companies with state and local contracts, deliberately failed to disclose the fruits of some of those labors on the state's required financial disclosure documents for elected officials, according to a story in the Austin American-Statesman.
Flores, D-Palmview, is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 22. He could spend up to two years in jail for four felony counts of tampering with governmental records. He faces up to a year in jail for each of seven misdemeanor counts, five of governmental record tampering and two of perjury. Flores could also owe the state $68,000 if the jury were to levy the maximum fine for each of the felony and misdemeanor counts.
"This verdict represents the public saying to public officials accurate and full public disclosure is an important part of public service," Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg said. "The public will not accept excuses like, 'I was too busy' or 'I just didn't know.'"
Lehmberg said this was the first time in 35 years as a prosecutor she could recall a jury convicting a state official for omitting information on financial disclosure forms. View Flores' disclosures for 2010 and 2009, or peruse them back to 2002 via this map.
The week-long trial centered on Flores' financial dealings and a willful attempt to keep information about them from the public. Prosecutors added to the court record documents outlining Flores' methods. "The defendant was known by many as Mr. Ten Percent because of his insistence on being paid that percentage by people and companies awarded contracts for construction or other services" in Hidalgo County. "Anyone that failed to pay him lost their contract."
Flores and his lawyers, who declined to speak to the Statesman Wednesday, had argued the case against Flores had political motives.
Contact Mark Lisheron at 512-299-2318 or email@example.com.
Photo of a gavel by flickr user Joe Gratz, used via a Creative Commons license.