Former OSHA Official Pleads Guilty to Role in Bribery Caper

Jan. 19, 2006
A former OSHA area assistant director is facing up to 5 years in a federal prison after pleading guilty Jan. 18 to one count of conspiracy to accept bribes.

Mario Martin Solano Jr., the former OSHA area assistant director in El Paso, Texas, admitted that in 2002 he sent employers that were seeking to reduce their OSHA fines to a company being run by co-defendant Jose Campos for employee training.

In return for these training referrals, Solano received approximately $30,000 from Campos, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Texas, which prosecuted the case.

Elias Casillas, an OSHA employee under Solano and Campos' former stepson, found and referred companies to Solano and also received money from Campos for such referrals, according to the attorney's office.

Campos and Casillas on Jan. 6 pleaded guilty to conspiracy to pay a gratuity. The two men face up to 2 years in a federal prison when they are sentenced on April 14.

Solano's sentencing is scheduled for March 29.

"It is always shocking to find public servants who are willing to take bribes," U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton said. "These crooks betray the people they are supposed to serve. Solano's conviction reminds us that no public official is above the law."

A Department of Labor spokesperson could not be reached for comment.

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