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Monday, August 13, 2007

CrimProf Wiliam Pizzi Compares El Paso Corruption to Corruption in Other Cities

PizziFrom elpasotimes.com: University of Colorado Law School CrimProf William Pizzi Recently discussed the ongoing public corruption investigation in El Paso and how it is developing in a pattern similar to public corruption cases in other cities.

"Nothing that has happened there so far surprises me," said CrimProf William Pizzi. "They worked out with someone early on to plead guilty, they named several others being investigated and they are now working to put the whole package together."

Pizzi, was an assistant U.S. attorney in New Jersey, said the next step in the investigation, which El Paso is in now, is rarely public and involves the vendors who were the alleged targets of corruption. It is a phase the public rarely sees, he said. "They start contacting vendors and asking them if they are defendants or victims," he said. "If they say they are victims, then there is some pressure for their cooperation."

The public corruption investigation began sometime in 2005, according to FBI officials. It became public in May 2006 when agents raided the offices of the National Center for Employment of the Disabled, now known as ReadyOne Industries. That was followed by searches at some private homes, private law offices and meetings with school board officials.

The community's awareness of the investigation heightened in May 2007, when the offices of County Judge Anthony Cobos and Commissioners Luis Sariñana and Miguel Terán were searched. Within days, the county chief of staff, John Travis Ketner, resigned. Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

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