DALLAS - Former Bear Stearns banker Chol-Su "Chris" Pak was sentenced to three years of probation and a $20,000 fine for his part in a massive El Paso County, Texas corruption scandal.

Pak, who pleaded guilty in December 2007 to a charge of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud and the deprivation of honest services, was sentenced Dec. 16 by U.S. District Judge Frank Montalvo.

Pak admitted that he and others agreed to give an El Paso County commissioner money in exchange for the commissioner's vote on a contract involving a $40 million refunding bond deal.

Pak covered up for Roberto "Bobby" Ruiz, a former Bear Stearns Dallas office managing director, Montalvo said. Ruiz also pleaded guilty to a public corruption charge and was sentenced to two years in prison earlier in December.

Former El Paso County Judge Anthony Cobos, who accepted a plea arrangement in the bribery investigation, is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 3.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation says its probe into El Paso public corruption has produced 39 federal convictions in the last five years, including 36 guilty pleas and three more people who were convicted by juries.

The investigation targeted city and county governments, school districts and attorneys and companies that did business with them.

On the same day that Pak was sentenced, Former El Paso Independent School District board trustee Sal Mena Jr. was sentenced to three years in prison, more than four years after he pleaded guilty to public corruption charges.

Montalvo ordered that Mena be placed on suicide watch while in custody.

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