South Texas legislator pleads not guilty to fraud, bribery

State Senator Carlos Uresti addresses the open meeting of the Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities (CECANF), held on the University of Texas at San Antonio Downtown Campus, Monday, June 2, 2014. (J. Michael Short/ AP Images for CECANF)
State Senator Carlos Uresti addresses the open meeting of the Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities (CECANF), held on the University of Texas at San Antonio Downtown Campus, Monday, June 2, 2014. (J. Michael Short/ AP Images for CECANF)

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — A South Texas legislator has pleaded not guilty to all fraud and bribery-related charges in two federal indictments.

The San Antonio Express-News reports state Sen. Carlos Uresti pleaded not guilty Tuesday night. Uresti attorney Mikal Watts filed a motion waiving the senator’s right to appear in court, scheduled Wednesday in San Antonio.

Uresti was present Wednesday in Austin as Gov. Greg Abbott signed laws meant to improve the Texas foster care system.

Uresti, who’s a Democrat from San Antonio, denied wrongdoing following his May 16 indictment on counts of bribery, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering and securities fraud. Prosecutors say the case involves a bankrupt oil field services company.

Uresti is also charged with aiding a bribery scheme to secure a prison medical services contract in Reeves County.

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Information from: San Antonio Express-News, http://www.mysanantonio.com