Three Former Crystal City Councilmen Heading to Prison for Bribery

Three former City Council members in Crystal City will now be convening meetings in federal prison for the next two to three months, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

Rogelio Mata, Roel Mata, and Gilbert Urrabazo were sentenced to 33, 21, and 24 months respectively for their roles in a major bribery scheme which essentially put the Brush Country town up for sale to the highest bidder.

Prosecutors say the three, along with former mayor Ricardo Lopez, and former City Manager and, ironically, City Attorney William James Jonas III, shook down business people and other contractors and suppliers who wanted to do business with the city.

The three Council members, and former Mayor Lopez, will be out of prison long before Jonas breathes free air again.  Jonas, allegedly the brains behind the operation, was sentenced earlier this year to 35 years in prison.

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