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Ex-Commerce Councilman’s Campaign Treasurer Gets Probation

The sister-in-law and former campaign treasurer of ex-Commerce City Councilman Robert Fierro was sentenced Monday to three years probation for her role in a scheme to sway a federal probe into the campaign’s financial dealings.

Ana Maria Perez, 46, pleaded guilty in January to a conspiracy charge, admitting that she and others tried to obstruct an FBI probe into an illegal reimbursement scheme involving Fierro.

The ex-councilman was sentenced in May to five years probation for his part in the scheme, and his wife faces trial next year.

According to court records, the case stems from Fierro’s recruitment of family and friends to make contributions to his 2004-05 election campaign, in which he secretly reimbursed contributions in cash.

Fierro never disclosed the contributions or reimbursements to the state or on his campaign’s finance records, prosecutors said.

In the spring of 2006, Fierro, his wife and Perez learned that the FBI was conducting an investigation into the illegal-reimbursement scheme, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. At that point, Perez and Fierro tried to influence a contributor to deny the reimbursements in an interview with FBI agents, prosecutors said. They also provided the unnamed contributor with lies he could tell the grand jury to explain how cash ended up in his bank account, according to court papers.

Fierro resigned from his Commerce council post shortly after pleading guilty last February.