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Ex-El Paso County, Texas, Judge Charged With Taking Bribes

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Dec. 16 (Bloomberg) -- A former Texas judge was accused by the U.S. of taking bribes in 2007 in exchange for his vote to refinance about $40 million in El Paso County debt and replace a county financial adviser.

The ex-judge, Antonio Guillermo Cobos, 44, was charged with three counts of conspiracy and fraud, Robert Pitman, the U.S. attorney in San Antonio, said today in a statement. If convicted, Cobos faces as long as 20 years in prison on each of the counts, according to Pitman.

“The citizens of El Paso County expect, and are entitled, to have their elected representatives make decisions on the basis of the merits of what they are voting on, not whether or how they can personally benefit,” Pitman said in the statement.

Daryl Fields, a spokesman for Pitman, couldn’t immediately provide the name of Cobos’s lawyer.

The indictment of Cobos and a co-defendant was the eighth one in a Federal Bureau of Investigation probe that began in 2004, according to the statement.

The case is U.S. v. Cobos, 11-3019, U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas (El Paso).

To contact the reporter on this story: Edvard Pettersson in Los Angeles at epettersson@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net.

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