South Texas mayor arrested, accused of bribery, fraud

MCALLEN, Texas (AP) — A South Texas mayor was arrested Monday after a federal indictment accused him of committing bribery and fraud.

Peñitas Mayor Rodrigo Lopez was arrested as he re-entered the country at the Hidalgo Port of Entry, according to a statement by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The two-count indictment accuses Lopez of embezzling from the La Joya Independent School District. From March through August 2018, the district made purchases totaling about $70,000 from Lopez’s company Xizaka LLC, the indictment alleges.

Lopez also is accused of offering a bribe to a district employee concerning those purchases.

Lopez is scheduled for arraignment and a detention hearing Tuesday before a federal magistrate in McAllen, 15 miles east of Peñitas. If convicted, Lopez faces up to 10 years in prison per count.

No telephone number is listed for Lopez, 38, and no attorney is listed for him in court records.

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