Adrian Pena Answers Questions About Public Corruption

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As I wrote on Friday, August 22, 2014, Adrian Peña had agreed to answer questions I posed to him in regards to his guilty pleas and public corruption in El Paso. What follows are the questions and answers. The material is presented to you un-redacted in their entirety without any corrections or additions. At the end of this article, you can find the three Plea Agreements that Adrian Peña agreed to last week. These are also presented to you un-redacted and as made available to me in their entirety. The questions posed to Adrian Peña were composed by me without anyone offering suggestions or corrections. They were sent to him via email. The answers to my questions were delivered to me via email by Adrian Peña and they are reproduced as they were delivered to me. Peña answers are in italics.

There were 22 questions with numerous related some questions added.

Questions Submitted to Adrian Peña

1. How did you come to know that Elizabeth “Betti” Flores would be open to accepting a bribe from you? no answer.

a. Did you know her beforehand? no answer.
b. Were you told by someone that she was approachable for a bribe? no answer.
c. If someone told you that Flores could be bribed, who was that individual? no answer.

2. Throughout the court records that have been published, so far, the name of the company you worked for has not been readily publicly named in the court documents.

a. What is the name of the company you worked for during the time you bribed Betti Flores?

A: During August 25, 2003 through June 14, 2006 I was employed by CF Jordan, L.P.

b. What was your official title at the company?

A: I held several titles during my employment, “Manager of Preconstruction Services” is the title that I held most of the years as an employee.

c. Were you employed as a regular employee, one that receives an IRS W2 form each year, or were you employed as a subcontractor, one that receives a 1099 IRS form?

A: During my employment (which was over a decade) I was a salary employee.

d. Were you paid by the company on a salary basis, a commission basis or a combination of both?

A: I was paid both a salary and a discretionary bonus.

e. Please provide the name and title of the individual or individuals you reported directly to at the company you were working for.

A: I reported to only 3 individuals: Paul Bauer, Darrin Woody, and Paco Jordan

f. Do you know why the name of the company has not been readily mentioned in the public records?

A: If I may make an opinion….CF Jordan is not mentioned, because it is the subcontractors that appear to have been the benefactors.  The source of the funds is not CF Jordan nor was it myself, but rather a subcontractor, who in turn received a contract.

3. Who made the decision that $10,000 was going to be the amount of the bribe to Betti Flores?

A: $10,000.00 was the amount acquired by the subcontractor who benefited by the award of the parking garage. “Flores indicated the Defendant, himself, told her one of the sources was Border Demolition (Solis). Solis has told the government he did, in fact, give cash….”
As you can see I am quoting the Government in their “GOVERNMENT’S COMBINED RESPONSE AND OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT’S MOTION TO COMPEL DETAILS OF PAYMENTS; SEALED MOTION TO COMPEL PRODUCTION OF MATERIALS; and DEFENDANT’S MOTION TO CONTINUE” [unsealed document 72-3] (Editor’s note: starts on page 13)

4. In regards to the company you were working for during the time you bribed Betti Flores for the county’s parking garage project:

a. Was there anyone in the company that was aware of your bribe to Betti Flores? If so, who?

A: No, not within the CF Jordan Company.  Subcontractor? YES

b. Do you know if those individuals, if any, were investigated?

A: The Company was a topic of discussion with the investigators.  It appears to me, Just an Opinion, that the Government was adamant to, let’s say, catch a “Big Fish.” In attempting to do so the investigators and Government entered into agreements with a specific Subcontractor for what I would assume was a scheme to try and get the Subcontractor to catch CF Jordan doing a crime.  This is just an opinion from reading the court documents that have been unsealed. I purposely have not named the subcontractor and will let your readers look at the Governments documents to decide for themselves.

c. If other individuals at the company were aware of the bribe, do you know if they were charged by the government? Or, were they cooperating witnesses for the government?

A: I am not aware of any individuals at the Company that were charged or made an agreement/deal with the Government.
I am aware that the Government did make deals/agreements with individuals that appear to have been a party to the crime. Those individuals, according to the Government [unsealed Document 72-4] are:
Elizabeth Sotelo, Betti’s Assistant, who was paid +-18,683.00, of our Tax Dollars, for her role.
The other is Raul Solis, who received for his “substantial” testimony “the following: (1) request that the Court consider a lesser sentence in a subsequent prosecution against Mr. Solis; or (2) not prosecute Mr. Solis.” (Editor’s note: starts on page 22)

d. Do you know why the company was not charged in the bribe?

A: CF Jordan the company No. Other companies? Yes, because they made a deal for a lesser sentence or not to be prosecuted. “(1) request that the Court consider a lesser sentence in a subsequent prosecution against Mr. Solis; or (2) not prosecute Mr. Solis.”  Quoting Government Documents.

5. Were you aware of any bribes given to, or offered to Dolores Briones for the county parking garage project? If so, by whom?

A: No I never even knew her or anything about her.

6. Are you aware of any bribes given to or offered to any other county commissioner or elected official besides Dolores Briones and Betty Flores for the parking garage project?

A: No I am not aware of any nor have I heard any roomers [sic] of any.

7. The court document titled “Defendant’s Motion to Compel Production of Materials identified in Government Discovery Produced 13 Days Prior to Trial” in footnote #2 identifies “C.F. Jordan” as the contractor that Betti Flores “assisted” in “the building of the El Paso County Garage”.

A: I answered these questions above.  “The Company” above is CF Jordan.

a. Was anyone from C.F Jordan aware of the bribe you paid to Betti Flores? no answer.
b. If so, what are their names and titles? no answer.
c. If anyone from C.F. Jordan knew about the bribe, in your opinion who much did they know? no answer.
d. Were they directly involved in the discussions about the bribe? no answer.
e. Was anyone from C.F. Jordan present during any discussions about bribing Betti Flores, either in person or through a conversation via telephone, email or text messages? no answer.
f. Are you aware if anyone from C.F. Jordan met with or discussed the bribe with Betti Flores, besides yourself? no answer.
g. Do you know if any of these individuals were cooperating witnesses or were charged with a crime? no answer.

8. In regards to the $10,000 bribe to Betti Flores:

a. Where did you get the initial $1,000 that you gave Betti Flores as a down payment from?

A: The initial $1,000.00 was provided by a subcontractor.  If I may quote this statement from the Government, [unsealed document 72-3] “The source of the funds is not an element of the offense.” Your readers will probably agree with me that the Government’s position is wrong, the source is indeed an important element to the offence. As I see it the public has a right to know. (Editor’s note: starts on page 13)

b. Was it from your personal funds or were you given the money to give to her?

A: I never paid a bribe to anyone.  I delivered what I was asked to deliver. Nothing from my personal funds or personal benefit.

c. If you were given the money, who gave you the money?

A: $10,000.00 was the amount acquired by the subcontractor who benefited by the award of the parking garage. “Flores indicated the Defendant, himself, told her one of the sources was Border Demolition (Solis). Solis has told the government he did, in fact, give cash….”
As you can see I am quoting the Government in their “GOVERNMENT’S COMBINED RESPONSE AND OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT’S MOTION TO COMPEL DETAILS OF PAYMENTS; SEALED MOTION TO COMPEL PRODUCTION OF MATERIALS; and DEFENDANT’S MOTION TO CONTINUE” [unsealed document 72-3] (Editor’s note: starts on page 13)

d. Where did you get the $9,000 that you gave to Betti Flores as the final payment in the agreed upon bribe?

A: $10,000.00 was the amount acquired by the subcontractor who benefited by the award of the parking garage. “Flores indicated the Defendant, himself, told her one of the sources was Border Demolition (Solis). Solis has told the government he did, in fact, give cash….”
As you can see I am quoting the Government in their “GOVERNMENT’S COMBINED RESPONSE AND OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT’S MOTION TO COMPEL DETAILS OF PAYMENTS; SEALED MOTION TO COMPEL PRODUCTION OF MATERIALS; and DEFENDANT’S MOTION TO CONTINUE” [unsealed document 72-3] (Editor’s note: starts on page 13)

e. If someone gave you the $9,000 who gave it to you?

A: $10,000.00 was the amount acquired by the subcontractor who benefited by the award of the parking garage. “Flores indicated the Defendant, himself, told her one of the sources was Border Demolition (Solis). Solis has told the government he did, in fact, give cash….”
As you can see I am quoting the Government in their “GOVERNMENT’S COMBINED RESPONSE AND OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT’S MOTION TO COMPEL DETAILS OF PAYMENTS; SEALED MOTION TO COMPEL PRODUCTION OF MATERIALS; and DEFENDANT’S MOTION TO CONTINUE” [unsealed document 72-3] (Editor’s note: starts on page 13)

f. If someone gave you the $9,000 were they aware that it was to be used to bribe Betti Flores?

A: Yes they were fully aware.

g. If the money was given to you by someone else do you know if they were charged with a crime?

A: I do not believe they were charged.  They made a deal with the Government not to be charged.

h. If they were not charged with a crime do you know why?

A: I can only assume the Government, when relying on the “credibility” of testimony a witness does not want a jury to see the witness testifying as a party to the crime.  Also when testifying the individual would be more open to “say” what the government guides them to say when they are not charged.  This appears to be a common practice done by our Government to individuals who are a party to a crime and have a deal.

9. In regards to Border Demolition:

a. How did Border Demolition come to be involved in providing a “portion of the money” that was used to bribe Betti Flores?

A: You say a portion? $10,000.00 was the amount acquired by the subcontractor who benefited by the award of the parking garage. “Flores indicated the Defendant, himself, told her one of the sources was Border Demolition (Solis). Solis has told the government he did, in fact, give cash….” Not sure where the word “Portion” comes in.
As you can see I am quoting the Government in their “GOVERNMENT’S COMBINED RESPONSE AND OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT’S MOTION TO COMPEL DETAILS OF PAYMENTS; SEALED MOTION TO COMPEL PRODUCTION OF MATERIALS; and DEFENDANT’S MOTION TO CONTINUE” [unsealed document 72-3] (Editor’s note: starts on page 13)

b. What is the connection between the company you were working for and Border Demolition?

A: Border Demolition was a subcontractor on the parking garage.

c. Has Border Demolition worked exclusively, substantially or infrequently for the company you were employed by?

A: Yes Border Demolition did work on many projects with CF Jordan, not all, but some. Exclusively? No, I do not think so, I read in the local paper Border Demolition does work for the City, County, Federal Jobs, and several other entities.

10. In regards to the EPISD “Construction Manager-Agent Delivery Method” project for the $207.4 million bond referendum:

a. In what capacity were you employed by C.F. Jordan at the time of the bond projects?

A: I was an employee.

b. Who did you report to at C.F. Jordan?

A: Paul Bauer, Darrin Woody and Paco Jordan

c. What was your connection to VistaCon, if any?

A: None.  I believe VistaCon was just another “Big Fish” the Government wanted indictments on. As you can see VistaCon is not a named party to my Factual Basis (Re. last paragraph of the Factual Basis whereas the “Scheme” names the parties to the crime.

c. [sic] How did you come to be named the “construction manager” by the company that employed you?

A: I personally was not the “construction manager”.  CF Jordan, the Company was the construction manager. The selection was made by the EPISD Board collectively.

d. How did you know that Sal Mena “needed funds to pay taxes”? Did Sal Mena approach you or did someone tell you that Mena needed money? If someone told you, who was it?

A: I knew this because it is official public knowledge. The County of El Paso has it on their website and has had it on their website for several years.  As of 5/30/2005 a FTL of $21,711.41 has been outstanding.

11. During your latest guilty plea hearing the name Victor Mendez was omitted during the reading of the factual elements of the guilty plea, the name was later added to the reading after the judge and attorneys discussed the omission of the name. Why do you believe this happened?

A: I believe that was no accident.  Let me explain….the Government typically likes to generalize factual basis, in open court, for their own personal benefit.  Doing so allows for vagueness, and assumptions to be made by the media and the public.  It also allows for the Government to select what names are mentioned and which ones are not in open Court.  My Plea Agreement demanded that the Factual Basis were to be Read out loud.  I did this for two reasons.  (1) I believe in openness, (2) I wanted to see what names the Government wanted to protect from public scrutiny.  I achieved both.  I did find it odd the name “Mendez” was skipped over not once, but twice while the Factual Basis was being read.  So odd there was a conference between Counsels and corrected immediately after and the name was said.

12. In regards to the Elizabeth “Betti” Flores and Sal Mena bribes, would you describe generally how the conversation to bribe them transpired?

A: If you read the Factual Basis the discussions was between subcontractors.  “Pena delivered those funds to another contractor……”

13. Was the word “bribe” ever used during the conversation or did everyone understand it was a bribe?

A: I never even used or heard others use the word “Bribe” with intent with a scheme, until FBI SA Julio Cordero explained to me the allegations during an interrogation in front of a Pizza Parlor.  So NO I never in my life believed or assumed “bribes” were taking place to benefit. FYI I surreptitious recorded the interrogation with this FBI S.A. Julio Cordero and the transcript is public record filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. Cause # 2013-cv-00031.  Very Interesting!

14. Would you give the readers a general understanding as to how the quid pro quo conversation went between yourself and Flores and Mena? For example, did the conversation include language like “we will give you x dollars if you do this”.

A: The Factual Basis does not detail one.

15. Likewise, would you generally describe how a conversation about bribing public officials happen between business owners (i.e. subcontractors) and other business owners be like?

A: I do not know.  This question is better asked to the Subcontractors who had the conversation.

16. Did you feel pressured to offer a bribe because of lack of work or because of some other reason? Please be as specific as you can be.

A: No, not at all. In fact I was not aware they were even bribes.

17. Do you believe that at the time of the bribes to the County and EPISD that, that was the only way your company could get work from the two public entities?

A: NOT AT ALL! In fact, the selections to be awarded the projects came before any discussions of remodels or tax loans were ever made.

18. Are you aware of other individuals, unrelated to the three cases that you have pleaded guilty to, that either accepted a bribe or provided a bribe that have not been identified or, if identified, have not been prosecuted?

A: I am not sure because I have not been keeping up with other court cases. I am aware that the Government, at their “sole discretion” has made deals with individuals for both money and/or freedom, if their “cooperation is deemed substantial.” [unsealed document 72-4(Editor’s note: starts on page 22)
It is possible other cases are still out there. According to the Government “Mr. Solis may have provided assistance to the government in other investigations which are not related to the instant case. Recordings made, if any, regarding unrelated investigations are not discoverable in this case.” [unsealed document 72-3(Editor’s note: starts on page 13)

19. If your answer to the above question is in the affirmative, are you willing to provide a list of names?

A: I did by providing the Public Document number. [unsealed document 72-4] (Editor’s note: starts on page 22)

20. Do you believe that certain companies or individuals have not been prosecuted because of who they are or whom they are connected to? If so, would you elaborate?

A: Not likely.  The Government does not prosecute those who can assist the Government with other indictments.  You can clearly see this with the documents I provided. The government wants a “Big Fish” unfortunately, to the Government, none that are a part of my cases.

21. Do you believe that there has been or are you aware of any bribes offered to or accepted by any city council official at the City of El Paso that has not been identified herein? If so, would you name them?

A: No I have no knowledge of any of this. I am aware certain subcontractors continue to do work for the City.  It has been in the papers that they continue to “get jobs.”

22. Is there anything that I have not asked you that you would like to share with the readers of my blog?

A: I will be issuing you several documents on what a Firm Fixed Price Contract is and explaining the indictment and facts within the Factual Basis on the 3rd case.  This case will affect the way federal procurements throughout the United States are open to indictments. I have reached out to several large (worldwide) Law Offices who report and run articles on Federal Contract Procurements, and to quote them “they are scared for their clients,” the Billion dollar contractor clients. My case is the first of its kind in US History. Stay tuned for this one.

The three Plea Agreements

The El Paso County Parking Garage and Betti Flores Case

The EPISD Sal Mena Hut Middle School Case

The SDVO Papago Park Military Reservation Readiness Center case

15 thoughts on “Adrian Pena Answers Questions About Public Corruption

  1. Interesting interview. Thanks for the story.

    Pena’s interview seems to have some inconsistencies especially when it comes to what he knew and what C.F. Jordan knew.

    Clearly, he has a beef with Solis and Border Demolition. It seems Border keeps popping up in connection to questionable behavior. You can read a story in the Times by Diana Washington Valdez dated 6/11 about an emergency contract awarded to Border for a building that burned on Mesa St. In the story, another demolition company states that even though the city claims that Border was the only qualified company to do the work, they too were qualified to do the work and for substantially less money. Border was also mentioned in a story about two people arrested in connection to contracts at Ft. Bliss. John Villela and Hugo White were charged with corruption at Ft. Bliss.

    I do not see how Border would offer money to Flores unless they were guaranteed a subcontractor for demolition. I don’t see how a subcontract would be guaranteed unless Jordan and Border were in cahoots. Also, I can’t see where Pena would stick his neck out unless he had something to gain from his employer, especially if he was salaried.

    1. Can someone please elaborate about Border and this alleged Ft. Bliss corruption. Why is it that there haven’t been any indictments. Are they still in business.

  2. Come on! Everyone knows Bettie went to Loretto Academy and so did Border Demolition’s wife’s entire family. That’s old news. I bet it was because if Border that Jordan got the job.
    Benefit to Pena? What benefit? Don’t you think the feds would have loved to have written about a benefit and made a stronger factual information? They didn’t , so clearly there was no benefit to Pena.

  3. This is so Mexican. Sell your soul for $10K. A white anglo male would have demanded a percent of the deal, like Luther Jones did.

  4. The feds spent all kinds of money, including $18k to an assistant and then settled for a plea of no fine and no restitution on that case. Something stinks! The feds only do this when they really screw up a case. How did he get that plea agreement. I have not read that any others involved in the corruption worked out this kind of plea agreement where he know his sentence. Is it because Pena did that judicial misconduct on Judge Frank Montalvo?
    Who do I have to throw under the bus to get $18k from the feds? Count me in!

  5. Pena emailed me a couple of times back when he also was trying to get docs unsealed. I got 27 court docs unsealed but dozens more remain seal. I think the work Pena did in winning his appeal and his willinness to learn some law himself speaks volumes and now it appears he may even help change federal procurement laws for the better. As far as this last plea deal one could hardly blame Pena for taking the deal for it is a good deal. Innocent or not many innocent take deals rather than fight. Some states if not Texas [I don’t feds have it] have whats call a Alford Plea where one does not have to even admit guilt just accept punishment deal.

  6. What a disappointment!!!!!!

    Martin:

    You did not ask Adrian Peña for his opinion on:

    1. Montalvo’s campaign contribution from the Republican Party, who got the money from Bear Sterns (in violation of Rule G37).

    2. Montalvo’s unreported campaign contribution of $144, 484 that according to the Texans for Public Justice were received by him and not reported (2002).

  7. Thanks Blogger.
    Don’t forget that Judge Montalvo did report $4,000 from the Republican Party, money originally from Bear Sterns.

    This type of third party use to launder money is afoul of regulation G37. This rule obligates Judge Montalvo to disclose who the money really came from.

  8. tirilon,

    Watch this video and see if you can find the irony in this. See the briefing below, quite humorous.

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=oC4NDJYW6iA

    ______________ Federal District Judge Frank Montalvo advice on “impartial judiciary” ___________

    When asked who acts as the watchdog for the law enforcers and the judiciary in his country, Montalvo remarked that judges have to file very strict financial disclosures annually.

    “We have to file it with the Federal Government and it is a crime to lie or conceal information on that. For instance, when I travel, I have to report the things I have received other than the normal hospitality accorded to me.

    “As a judge who presides over cases, we must set a good example for the people,” he said.

    From 1995 to 2003, Montalvo served as the 288th district court judge for the state of Texas before he was appointed by former president George W. Bush to the federal bench in 2003.

  9. BLOGGER;

    Excellent work:

    You have brought to the table a unique perspective on Judge Frank Montalvo. These interesting Judicial Conferences done without the US present unique opportunities to look into the soul of Judges. This short video is most illustrative of Judge Montalvo.

    First, it appears that Judge Montalvo has not considered the Bill of Rights of the Constitution of the Untied States; in this Country, the rights of the individual shall be protected, not those of the state per se.

    Second, Judge Montalvo has no right to intervene in the investigation process of the procurement of justice, except, as a watch dog for the rights of the individual. He has no place speaking of efficiency in a collaboration between prosecutor and investigator. This may lead to an abuse of power because the prosecutor first responsibility is to the individual, then to the state. Furthermore, the judicial is to remain separate from the executive and only may interfere to guarantee the right of the individual.

    Judge Montalvo has set aside his oath to respected protect the Constitution of the United States and has given freedom to this opinion of how an “efficient” legal system should work. We all know that out Constitution does not provide for efficient judicial system, it does provide, however, for an independent judiciary, and for the rights of the individual.

    Judge Montalvo may consider returning to engineering.

  10. Defendants you better be careful if you are in his courtroom. You don’t stand a chance. Quoting Newspaper Tree

    When a bias Federal Judge like United States Federal District Court Judge Frank Montalvo states:
    “Montalvo said that despite the sentence, Mena is still in a position to make up for his wrongdoing. ‘Unlike every single defendant, you still have information that could benefit the government to put people in prison,’ said Montalvo.”

    What is this impartial Federal Judge implying by his statement to a Defendant, during Sentencing, in directing the Defendant to place himself in a position to “make up for his wrongdoing”.. …….”to put people in prison.”?

    Has this Federal Judge already accused and placed GUILTY judgment on other “people” to go to prison BEFORE a trial?

    Who are the “PEOPLE” this Judge is referring to, to imply to Mena he can receive a lower Sentence. Implying Mena can receive a reduced Sentence by a Rule 35 Later? Is this still the United States? Are the Federal Courts now an arm of the Prosecutors, there to assist the prosecutors? Sure sounds like it.

    See what this Judge said on this News Article at: http://newspapertree.com/articles/2013/12/16/mena-pak-sentenced-in-corruption-cases-involving-bribery

  11. We just witnessed a bad theatrical event at Montalvo’s Court. While he praises Pak for his cooperation, the people that Pak identified as corrupt are walking free. Those that Pak exonerated are in jail. What a travesty.

    Furthermore, Judge Montalvo ordered the government to return 841,583 stocks of Bear Sterns to Bobby Ruiz (the real criminal). These stocks were worth over $140,000,000 at one time. These proceeds were the product of illegal activities and according to the law should have been confiscated. However, Judge Montalvo was careful not to affect any interest of Bear Sterns, First
    Southwest (still doing business in El Paso) and Ruiz Sr. (known friend of Arizona Senator McCain).

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