BROWNSVILLE, Texas — The outspoken mayor of a U.S.-Mexico border city deposited a $26,000 check from the city to a vendor in his personal account last year and attempted to discredit the investigation when it came to light, prosecutors said Tuesday.
Brownsville Mayor Pat Ahumada, who is on trial for a variety of charges including theft, spent more than $5,000 over three weeks after putting the check into his account, authorities said.
During that time, prosecutor Luis Saenz told jurors, "nobody knows anything except the defendant," and then when it was revealed "Patricio Ahumada engages in a campaign to discredit the investigation."
Ahumada initially said he did not remember depositing the check. When the bank notified him three weeks after the deposit he asked the bank to investigate because he believed political enemies could be setting him up.
It was "an innocent mistake" by a busy mayor on his way to Mexico on city business, his attorney Ed Cyganiewicz said Tuesday.