Public Reaction to Recent Indictments Mixed
POSTED: Wednesday, December 21, 2011 - 6:06pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, December 21, 2011 - 9:25pm
EL PASO – We've been watching the public corruption investigation unfold for the past 6 years and with each new indictment many wonder how many more will follow.
Some people NewsChannel 9 spoke with are happy to see prosecutors taking action, while others seem to loosing faith in the political system.
"I'm unhappy. How I see the situation now is who would you vote for who would you trust,” said Bryant Torres. “There's a lot of things about politics that I'm not happy with."
Another El Pasoan is glad to see progress.
"I've been here for like 40 years and El Paso's politics have always been corrupt,” said Marjie Day. “I'm pleased that it's finally being dealt with, however."
The FBI arrested former El Paso County Judge Anthony Cobos and businessman Lorenzo Aguilar last Friday. Cobos is accused of taking bribes from Aguilar in a pay to play scheme in 2007.
Also arrested Friday was Ruben "Sonny" Garcia and Cirilo Madrid. They're accused of fraudulently obtaining $550 thousand in federal funds from a government program.
Former County Judge Dolores Briones was indicted yesterday. She's accused of taking bribes for influencing votes on federal contracts.
"To see this come out now is bound to make some people very cynical," said UTEP political science professor Gregory Rocha. He thinks the latest indictments could make some voters apathetic. But it also shows that political corruption won't be tolerated.
"If people have a sense that they can get away with it, then even the best of people have a hard time trying to go straight and narrow when everything around you seems to be so problematic."
We also asked Professor Rocha if he thinks we're nearing the end of the public corruption investigation. He believes there are still many more indictments to come.