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South Texas Lawmaker Found Guilty on 6 Felony Counts

Kino Flores mugshot

A South Texas lawmaker has been found guilty of multiple crimes in a case involving allegations that he sold access to the legislature.  The Austin American-Statesman reports the jury returned a verdict this morning for State Rep. Kino Flores (D-Mission).

A Travis County jury has found South Texas lawmaker Kino Flores guilty of multiple counts of tampering with a governmental record and perjury in connection with omissions Flores made on financial disclosure forms required to be filed by state elected officials.

The pre-trial filing gave us a picture of the state's case against Flores. Our reporting partner, the Texas Tribunehighlighted some of the allegations.

· Accepted $40,000 in payments in exchange for favorable treatment on legislation between 2002 and 2004. · Was known as "Mr. Ten Percent" for his insistence on being paid 10 percent of the profits companies made from the contracts he awarded them. · Pressured the director of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to hire convicted felon Roel Benavides in 2003, then accepted "improper benefits" from Benavides in the form of property. · Failed to report over $80,000 in income to the IRS in 2003, over $68,000 in 2004, over $30,000 in 2005, over $51,000 in 2005 and almost $92,000 in 2008.

The AP has even more background on the case.

The key witness for prosecutors was a former Rio Grande Valley clinic owner who testified that he essentially bribed Flores before being convicted of scamming Medicaid of more than $4 million. Eliseo Sandoval, who is serving a 10-year prison sentence, said he paid Flores under the guise of hiring the lawmaker to help a fledging deer-breeding and ranch business.

The next step for Flores will be his sentencing on November 22.

Nathan Bernier is the transportation reporter at KUT. He covers the big projects that are reshaping how we get around Austin, like the I-35 overhaul, the airport's rapid growth and the multibillion dollar transit expansion Project Connect. He also focuses on the daily changes that affect how we walk, bike and drive around the city. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @KUTnathan.