The director of UTEP’s Criminal Justice program, S. Fernando Rodriguez, played a central role in a contract that is at the heart of the most recent public-corruption case in El Paso, documents obtained by the El Paso Times using state and federal open-records laws show. The evaluation contract between LKG Enterprises Inc. and the Border Children’s Mental Health Collaborative led to the guilty plea last month of former County Judge Dolores Briones and the indictments of Cirilo “Chilo” Madrid, the former CEO of a behavioral agency, Ruben “Sonny” Garcia and Garcia’s company, LKG Enterprises Inc.
The indictment says Madrid and Garcia bribed Briones to secure the $600,000-a-year contract and then failed to deliver the services it required. Tax records show that Rodriguez has earned almost $1 million doing work for Aliviane Inc., which Madrid ran until he resigned last month. Rodriguez failed to notify officials at the University of Texas at El Paso of his work for Aliviane and other outside work stretching over decades, even though he was required to under university rules. Rodriguez has not responded to several attempts to contact him. He hasn’t been accused of wrongdoing in LKG’s contract with the Border Children’s Mental Health Collaborative.