EDINBURG — A former code enforcement officer with the city of Hidalgo entered a not guilty plea Monday morning to two new charges of bribery and abuse of official capacity.
A Hidalgo County grand jury indicted Francisco Neftali Vasquez Martinez, 61, on the charges Aug. 1.
This latest indictment is the fourth in a series levied against the man since his arrest last July.
The charging document accuses Martinez of accepting a bribe on May 1, 2018, from Jose Jimenez to ensure that the city of Hidalgo would issue a building permit.
On May 30, Martinez was also indicted on a charge or bribery over allegations he accepted a bribe on May 7, 2018, from Irma Balderas for the consideration or recommendation for the issuance of a building permit.
He has pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Martinez also stands accused of accepting a bribe on Oct. 30, 2017, from Augusto Jaime Garcia in exchange for ensuring property owned by the city of Hidalgo was awarded to Garcia at auction, according to a Dec. 13, 2018, indictment.
The first indictment against Martinez accuses the man of accepting a bribe from Balderas for a building permit on May 7, 2018.
According to a probable cause affidavit, the Hidalgo Police Department accuses Martinez of telling the owners of Anabel Ropa Usada, a used clothing store, that he would allow them to move into a building lacking a sprinkler system for $9,000.
That document indicates he was in his city uniform and driving a city vehicle.
The owners paid up in cash and four days later he “agreed to give them a city permit or paper that the sprinkler system was not required,” according to the affidavit.
After Martinez called asking for an additional $3,500 in early June, one of the owners called police, according to the affidavit.
Martinez is free on $40,000 in bonds.