La Joya ISD’s former assistant superintendent convicted in bribery case

McALLEN — The La Joya school district’s former assistant superintendent of student services pleaded guilty Monday after admitting to taking $28,000 in bribes, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a news release.

Mission resident Jose Luis Morin, 41, also agreed to forfeit $28,000.

“As part of the plea, Morin admitted to receiving approximately $28,000 as bribes beginning in 2019 for his official and favorable recommendations at LJISD,” the USAO said in the release. “They pertained to energy savings contracts awarded to a company as well as job order contracts and facilitating the processing of pay applications related to those contracts. The LJISD school board subsequently approved the contracts Morin recommended.”

The release says U.S. District Judge Randy Crane accepted the plea and set sentencing for April 19, when Morin will face up to five years in federal prison.

“He was permitted to remain on bond pending that hearing,” the release stated.

The FBI conducted the investigation together with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Department of Agriculture, the Texas Department of Insurance and the McAllen Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Roberto Lopez Jr. is prosecuting the case.