Former Democratic Rep. Jose Santiago "Jim" Solis was one of a dozen people arrested in the Brownsville corruption investigation by federal authorities.
The Valley Morning Star of Harlingen reported Friday that Solis was sentenced to 47 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen. He had faced up to 20 years.
Solis, 47, had pleaded guilty in April 2011 to extortion for paying former state District Judge Abel Limas for favorable rulings.
The ex-lawmaker apologized during a statement before being sentenced.
"I know I did wrong, I've owned up to it," Solis told Hanen. Family and friends also spoke on Solis' behalf.
Hanen said Solis "betrayed the public trust and violated the oath to uphold the laws."
As part of his sentence, Solis also was ordered to forfeit $250,000 and pay restitution of approximately $119,000.
Solis will remain free on $50,000 bond until he reports to prison.
The ex-lawmaker served seven terms representing the Rio Grande Valley in the Texas House before retiring in 2007. He had been a longtime personal injury lawyer in Harlingen. Last year, Solis agreed to a state commission's decision to bar him from practicing law.
Prosecutors say Solis was one of many attorneys who paid for favorable pretrial rulings from Limas in civil matters pending in his court, including $8,000 Solis paid in a case involving a helicopter crash on South Padre Island.
Limas, who was a judge from 2001 to 2008, has pleaded guilty to one count of racketeering. He awaits sentencing and faces up to 20 years in prison.
Former Cameron County District Attorney Armando Villalobos, the highest-profile target to stand trial in the corruption probe, was convicted in May of seven counts of racketeering, bribery and extortion. He awaits sentencing and faces up to 20 years in prison per count.
Eight people, including Solis and Limas, have pleaded guilty to charges related to the FBI's four-year public corruption investigation. Another three were convicted in separate trials. The trial of the last defendant in the case is set to begin Tuesday in Corpus Christi.
Take ABC13 with you!
Download our free apps for iPhone, iPad and Android devices