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Bribery - the offer or acceptance of anything of value in exchange for influence on a government official or employee. 29 year-old Arizona Mayor has been arrested for bribery, and his actions could not fit more perfectly within the definition of the crime.
Octavio Garcia Von Borstel, mayor of the border town of Nogales, Arizona, was arrested Tuesday morning on charges of theft, bribery, money laundering, and fraud. His father was also arrested in connection with the charges. Von Borstel has been mayor of Nogales since 2008, and his list of offenses seems to extend back to his inauguration. Search warrants were also issued for the mayor's home, office, and city hall.
Specifically, the Arizona mayor is believed to have been giving away city contracts in exchange for work as a private consultant. Von Borstel's father, a Western Union employee, is accused of improperly cashing millions of dollars of money orders, and depositing them into his son's personal checking account. Bail has been set at $250,000.
The New York Times quotes Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard: "These charges are serious violations of the law. Because some charges involve the official actions of an elected officials they violate the public trust. Both the mayor and his father will be held accountable and prosecuted to the full extent of the law."
In these cases of public officials taking bribes, there are some serious legal consequences. But perhaps the biggest punishment is the public humiliation Octavio Garcia Von Borstel will suffer when all the stories surrounding his behavior come to light. Taking bribes and abusing a position of elected power is a form of political suicide as voter trust and confidence are irreparably destoryed.