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Ex-EPISD Trustee Cordova Sentenced

Former El Paso Independent School District trustee Carlos “coach” Cordova was sentenced in federal court Friday afternoon in his public corruption case.

Cordova, who pleaded guilty to mail fraud and wire fraud, was sentenced to two years probation and a $140,000 fine.

The 84-year-old entered his guilty plea in November 2007. He was convicted of taking money for his vote on the school board so a company could secure a contract with the district.

Cordova gave an emotional apology to his coworkers, the public, and most importantly the students.

?I stand here before you with sadness and sorrow and place myself at the mercy of the court to give whatever sentence I deserve,? said a tearful Cordova moments before his attorney pleaded a sentence void of time in prison.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Debra Kanof said it was the most heartfelt apology she had ever heard as an attorney and asked that no jail time be issued given Cordova’s age and the fact that he didn’t harm anyone financially given that the contract he steered wasn’t unrealistic but simply didn’t follow the proper channels.

?He was honest and debriefed with the FBI multiple times,? Kanof explained to the court on Cordova?s behalf. ?He was the first person in this case to apologize to the children affected by the conduct of their leaders.?

Judge Frank Montalvo explained that he believed that Cordova had repented and repaid society the best he could along his path to redemption, but added that the fine should send a message that no one will steal from El Paso and that doing so is stealing from the poor.

?There are no free passes,? said Judge Montalvo in a stern voice directed toward Cordova. ?Whoever commits public corruption in this town is stealing from the poor. You know that, and I know that.?

Moments following the sentencing Cordova exited the courtroom shuffling down the hall in a brown suit coat looking every bit his age. Nine family members and friends surrounded a wall around him which was led by his attorney. Cordova didn?t speak with reporters when asked for comment, instead his attorney simply shouted once loudly outside that there would be, ?no comment,? before the posse made its way to the corner of a federal building where a car pulled up and Cordova was put inside.

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