Joel Barajas was the only Crystal City council member to show up at the office Friday.
That’s because everyone else he works with is facing felony charges.
Five top officials in the Texas city were arrested Thursday under a federal indictment accusing them of taking tens of thousands of dollars in bribes and helping the operator of an illegal gambling operation who went by the nickname “Mr. T.”
The indictment swept up the city’s mayor, mayor pro tempore (who both have city council votes) and a council member, as well as the city manager, a former city council member and the alleged gambling operator, Ngoc Tri Nguyen. None of the men has commented about the charges or filed any pleas in response to the indictment.
That left just Barajas at the City Hall in Crystal City, which has about 7,500 people and is 130 miles southwest of San Antonio. He has been on the council for nine months, according to KSAT, and he could tell as soon as he arrived that something fishy was going on.
Richard Durbin Jr., the U.S. attorney for San Antonio, told the Associated Press that he hoped the indictment would help restore some public confidence in the local government. If convicted, each official faces up to 10 years in federal prison and as much as $250,000 in fines, according to CNN.