9th mayor in Puerto Rico this year accused of corruption

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — A former Puerto Rico mayor who vanished earlier this year while still in his position appeared in court Tuesday and pleaded guilty in a federal corruption case.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said José Luis Cruz is accused of participating in a bribery conspiracy and receiving $10,000 in exchange for the award of municipal asphalt, paving and trash removal contracts.

He could face up to five years in prison and is scheduled to be sentenced in September.

Cruz resigned late last week after serving as mayor of the northern town of Trujillo Alto for more than a decade.

He is the ninth Puerto Rican mayor to face federal corruption charges in recent months.

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