A former Houston Independent School District official and a co-conspirator were recently indicted on federal public corruption charges for a multimillion-dollar plot that authorities allege consisted of bribery and witness tampering.
The FBI’s Houston office announced on December 16 that former HISD Chief Operating Officer Brian Busby and school district contract vendor Anthony Hutchison were charged in the twenty-six-count indictment.
According to a report by Erin Anderson at Texas Scorecard, Busby and Hutchison are accused of conspiring to take part in an act of bribery, where they would have diverted local school tax dollars and federal funds originally for students in an effort to enrich themselves.
Allegedly, Busby assisted Hutchinson in acquiring HISD construction and grounds maintenance contracts. In exchange, Hutchinson provided Busby with cash bribes and hundreds of thousands of dollars in home remodeling.
Per the indictment, both conspirators attempted to tamper with potential witnesses upon learning about the federal investigation.
The FBI announced that both men are charged with conspiracy, bribery, and witness tampering.
Additionally, Hutchinson is facing wire fraud charges.
If convicted, both men face penalties of up to twenty years in prison and $250,000 in fines.
According to the FBI, several former district officials have already admitted their guilt in the case, which includes former Houston ISD school board president Rhonda Skilern-Jones.
“Houston taxpayers and the thousands of HISD students, along with their teachers and staff, are the potential victims of this alleged multimillion-dollar public corruption scheme,” declared FBI agent Richard Collodi.
Busby and Hutchison were arrested on the morning of December 16 and went before a federal judge later that day.