Hidalgo County commissioner pleads no contest

By: From Wire Reports, The Monitor
By: From Wire Reports, The Monitor

EDINBURG, Texas (AP) - A former Hidalgo County commissioner has pleaded no contest to public corruption charges related to a phantom employee program.

The Monitor in McAllen reports Sylvia Handy entered the no contest plea Thursday in state district court to an eight-count indictment accusing her of theft of more than $200,000, engaging in organized criminal activity and securing documents by deception. Sentencing is set for July 18.

Prosecutors say Handy had immigrants who were in the country illegally get false documents so they could be hired by the county. They then performed tasks like cleaning her house.

Handy, the first woman to serve on the Hidalgo County Commissioners Court after her election in 1996, was sentenced to 2 ½ years in federal prison in 2010 for harboring illegal immigrants and tax fraud.

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