LOS BANOS, Calif. (KFSN) --Los Banos' former mayor, and current school board member, along with a construction company owner are now facing bribery charges. Tommy Jones arrived at the Merced County Sheriff's Office Wednesday morning and turned himself in.
"Mr. Jones is insisting on his innocence. And he is going to meet these charges in the court of law not the court of public opinion," said Kevin Little, Tommy Jones' attorney.
Both Jones and Greg Opinski-- a contractor and member of the Merced Union High School District-- were accused of bribing a Los Banos School Board Member to secure a contract to expand Mercy Springs Elementary School. Dominic Falasco, also a Los Banos school board member, worked with investigators and helped record conversations where he was ultimately offered money to vote yes for the contract.
"In the 20-plus years, I can't remember a case of this nature," said Larry Morse II, Merced County District Attorney.
Earlier this week the Merced County District Attorney's Office held a press conference about the investigation. Jones is charged with two counts of bribery, while Opinski is also charged with two counts of bribery plus another two counts of offering a bribe and a charge of creating a conflict of interest.
"Mr. Jones has been an upstanding citizen of the Merced County community for almost 40 years, he's not going anywhere. Not in response to these charges for sure," said Little.
Jones bailed out about a few hours after turning himself in, and his lawyer said the charges are expected to be filed Thursday.
The Los Banos School District said there is a meeting Wednesday night to discuss the possibility of terminating the expansion contract with Opinski Construction.
We tried to contact Falasco for comment, but he has not yet returned our calls.