City of South Houston councilman arrested on bribery charges


by Jeremy Rogalski / I-Team

Posted on June 27, 2013 at 10:13 PM

Updated Thursday, Jun 27 at 10:40 PM

SOUTH HOUSTON -- Investigators with the Harris County District Attorney’s office escorted Roberto “Robert” Garcia to jail Thursday evening on charges of bribery of a public official.

Garcia, 48, was first elected to serve on the South Houston City Council in 2005, and was re-elected in 2007, according to the city’s website.

The allegations stem from a May 26 accident on Spencer Highway in South Houston, in which Garcia’s 21-year-old son was involved. The crash was caught on tape by a security cameras a nearby business.

Investigators tell the I-Team that Councilman Garcia wanted that video, and allegedly offered a South Houston detective thousands of dollars for it. Apparently, investigators said it was all an effort to make that evidence go away.

However, the detective wanted no part of the pay off, according to investigators. Instead, he informed the District Attorney’s office.

“It was a bad crash,” said Francis Depperschmidt. She witnessed it while tending bar across the street.

For her, the bribery charge is a bombshell.

“It’s not right, it’s not right,” Depperschmidt said.

“I don’t know what he was thinking to even try that you know, we need our officials to take accountability for themselves,” she said.

Joe Soto, city of South Houston Mayor, called Garcia’s arrest “unfortunate” and “sad.”

Garcia’s son has not been charged with any crime.