POSTED: Thursday, April 2, 2009 - 10:37pm
UPDATED: Thursday, February 25, 2010 - 12:32pm
Hidalgo County Precinct 1 Commissioner, Sylvia Handy was arrested this morning and named in a six count indictment...accusing her and three others of harboring illegals and plotting to create a fake county employee, all with tax payer money.
After being arrested, long-time Hidalgo County Commissioner, Sylvia Handy plead not guilty, in Federal Court, today.
"One is innocent, until proven guilty, so i'll have my day in court," Handy says.
52-year old, County Commissioner, Sylvia Handy slowly made her way out of Federal Court on a 100-thousand dollar un-secured bond with a broken leg, and with a list of charges, Handy says, she's still standing strong.
"I'm just waiting to come and have my day in court, I ask my constituents to be patient with me, I'm going to continue the way i've been working."
Providing employment to Mexican nationals, illegally, living here in the United States is what Handy and her husband, 35-year old, Juan Espronceda are accused of.
The six count indictment accuses Handy of hring a housekeeper and nanny and paying for their services with county money and directing precinct one employees to process fraudulent job applications.
According to the indictment, as a result Hidalgo County paid over one hundred thousand dollars in fraudulent salaries.
"She confidently asserted her innocence, and pretty much put on her battle gear, and intends to defend herself."
Handy's attorney, Ralph Martinez says his client never knew she had undocumente immigrants working for her.
"She didn't know about any fake biographical info. She didn't participate in that."
He says, "I personally believe here reputation proceeds her, I think she has served the county, district very well."
Two others named in the indictment are 27-year old, Maria Landa De Hernandez and 58-year old, Eloisa Uriegas.
They face multiple charges for their involvement in this case.
If convicted, everyone involved could face up to ten years in jail
and pay a fine up to 250 thousand dollars.
The final pre-trial court hearing is set for May 1st.