Community service supervisor charged with bribery

December 3, 2009 8:30:28 PM PST
A man who's supposed to oversee community service is accused of taking bribes from people on probation, and that's not all he's accused of doing. Fredys Cerritos works for a faith-based community service provider that contracts with the Harris County Department of Corrections. His boss says a probationer he was supervising blew the whistle and tipped off authorities.

As a supervisor for the Bear Creek Assistance Ministries, Fredys Cerritos spent the last two years in charge of probationers sent to the non-profit's thrift store warehouse to perform community service. His boss called Cerritos a model employee.

"Hard worker. Seemed to stay on task when he's given guidelines to do so," said Executive Director Terry Emick.

Yet his days as an administrator may be numbered. Cerritos is accused of accepting cash bribes from the people he was supposed to be supervising, then crediting them for community service hours they didn't complete. Authorities arrested him after he allegedly took a $200 bribe from an undercover officer in exchange for signing off on a few days worth of community service.

"His demeanor was one of I wish I hadn't gotten caught and I think he was disappointed in himself that he had done it," Emick said.

A source told us Cerritos was allegedly in possession of several baggies of cocaine when investigators busted him.

No one answered the door at Cerritos' home in Katy. While his future is unclear, his boss told us while she believes in second chances even though Cerritos may have blown his. Once a probationer himself, she says Cerritos went through the program several years ago. He eventually got hired because they believed in him.

"We just want to take it with grace and let the community know we're still here, serving strong and normalcy is where we want to go from here," said Emick.

Cerritos is charged with bribery and possession with the intent to deliver a controlled substance. He remains behind bars.


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