Former Socorro Mayor "Willie" Gandara Sr, sentenced to 42 months in prison

KDBC
Thursday, December 19, 2013 - 6:47pm

The list of public servants sentenced for corruption charges in El Paso continues to grow. Long-time Socorro politician "Willie" Gandara Sr was handed down his sentence today.

Gandara pleaded guilty in September of accepting bribes in exchange for his vote from former CEO Frank Apodaca and Access Healthcare while he was a Socorro ISD board member.

The former Mayor of Socorro was sentenced to 42 months in prison plus 32 months’ probation after he serves his jail time and will also have to pay 25,000 dollars in fines.

Right before receiving his 3 and a half year sentence Gandara apologized with a broken voice and said:

"I ask for forgiveness to all my family, constituents, students sincerely and to every affected person.” Gandara said.

One Socorro resident feels his sentence was fair:

"I think it's fair but the damages he caused others or what his family is feeling doesn't compare but as a resident I feel that if the authorities determined that was fair I’m ok with that," Socorro resident Pablo Rubio said.

Judge Frank Montalvo allowed Gandara to serve his sentence in El Paso and to spend the holidays with his family before turning himself in.

He also ordered Gandara to turn himself in on February 11th of next year and to pay more than 5,000 dollars in reinstitution fees.

He will also have permission to visit his son Willie Gandara Jr who is also in prison for drug trafficking.

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