Former Austin city official sentenced for federal conspiracy

A former Austin city official was sentenced and ordered to pay restitution for conspiring to misapply federal funds and to falsify records in an investigation.

Frank Rodriguez, 73, of Dripping Springs, faced a maximum penalty of five years in prison, but will instead serve three years probation and was ordered to pay $21,375 in restitution.

He pleaded guilty back in 2022.

Rodriguez was a senior policy advisor for the city and executive director of an Austin-area nonprofit.

Court records said Rodriguez and former city of Austin advisory chairwoman Jill Ramirez brokered an agreement that he would receive 10 percent of the value of a federal grant awarded to the nonprofit he founded. This led to the nonprofit being treated more favorably by the city in agreements and funding.

Between 2015-16, Rodriguez received over $21,000 from the nonprofit as his "consulting fee."

In addition to his probation, the judge ruled Rodriguez must pay that amount back in restitution.