Next on COPS: When political extortionists attack

Michael Morales, brother of onetime Democratic gubernatorial candidate and former Attorney General Dan Morales, will plead guilty to a charge that he attempted to extort money from the Tony Sanchez For Governor campaign.

The criminal investigation began churning last September when Sanchez campaign manager Glenn Smith received telephone calls and faxes from a man claiming to have evidence that Sanchez committed a felony crime more than 30 years ago.

Smith said the man wanted between $200,000 and $500,000. Smith turned the information over to the FBI.

Dan Morales said his primary campaign was approached last year by a San Antonio woman who had been urged to come forward by her psychiatrist. He said the woman accused Sanchez of a crime while he was attending St. Mary’s University law school.

Morales said he turned the woman’s information over to a lawyer, who could not find evidence to prove her allegations were true.

“There was insufficient corroboration for us to come to any other conclusion than there was simply no role for our campaign to play with her allegations,” Morales said.

Printed copies of the woman’s statements were included in the materials sent to the Sanchez campaign with a threat to make them public

The guilty plea has not yet been entered, so no word yet on sentence, though the charge carries a maximum of two years in jail and a $250,000 fine.

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