Former HCC trustee sent to prison for bribery conviction

Former Houston Community College (HCC) trustee Chris Oliver has been ordered to nearly six years in federal prison following his bribery conviction.

Oliver, 53, pleaded guilty last year.

U.S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore, who accepted the guilty plea, handed Oliver a 70-month sentence on Monday morning.

Oliver was also ordered to pay $12,000 in forfeiture to the FBI and will be required to serve a one-year-term of supervised release following completion of the prison term.

Bribes took place over an extended period of time, beginning in 2009 and continuing through 2016.

“Public officials who use their position for private gain undermine the integrity of government and erode the public's trust in the very framework of our democracy. Today's sentence sends a strong message of the consequences of such actions,” said Turner. “The FBI stands firm with local, state and federal partners in an unwavering commitment to combat public corruption and hold accountable those who choose to abuse the privilege of serving the American people. We rely heavily on the public's help in investigating these crimes and urge anyone with information related to public corruption to report it to the FBI.”

At the time of his guilty plea, Oliver admitted he accepted bribes in exchange for the promise of official actions related to his duties as a member of the HCC board of trustees.

Oliver was on the board of trustees for approximately 21 years.

He met with another individual on several occasions at various restaurants and coffee shops in Houston where he accepted cash payments in exchange for promising to use his position to help that person secure contracts with HCC.  

Oliver later resigned from his position

He was permitted to remain on bond and voluntarily surrender to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.