Prosecutor: Texas State Rep Sought to Line Pockets

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas -- Prosecutors say State Rep. Kino Flores wanted to "line his pockets" while using his power to favorably amend legislation for a businessman later convicted of Medicaid fraud.

The criminal trial for the embattled south Texas lawmaker is on in Austin.

Flores is accused of multiple perjury and ethics violations dating to 2003. The Democrat, who has served in the Legislature for 14 years but is not seeking re-election, faces up to two years in prison if convicted.

Flores has pleaded not guilty and plans to testify.

Prosecutors say Flores failed to disclose income in excess of $115,000, and they began their case honing in on more than $40,000 they alleged was a bribe from Eliseo Sandoval, the former head of a chain of Rio Grande Valley pediatric clinics.

Sandoval is serving 10 years in prison after pleading guilty in 2008 to scamming Medicaid out of more than $4 million.

Sandoval, testifying yesterday in exchange for a favorable parole recommendation, said Flores suggested that he be paid as a "consultant" while the men discussed proposed legislation affecting hospital payments.

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