Bonds lowered in corruption case

Jesus 'Jay' Pons, Bruno Diaz have bonds lowered to $750K

Pictured: Jesus Pons (left), Diana Pons (center), Bruno Diaz (right)
Pictured: Jesus Pons (left), Diana Pons (center), Bruno Diaz (right)

MIAMI – A Miami-Dade Circuit Court judge on Thursday lowered the bonds for two suspects charged in a racketeering case involving about $16 million in county taxpayer funds.

Both Jesus "Jay" Pons and Bruno Diaz, his brother-in-law, had their bonds lowered to $750,000. Diana Pons, Jesus' wife, was also arrested Tuesday in the case.

Jesus Pons used his position to rig bids for Data Industries, an IT company, then padded and faked their bills for years of kickbacks, according to prosecutors. Pons worked for Miami-Dade County's Internal Services Department and resigned last year.

The arrest affidavit showed Pons' supervisor Clayton Baptiste and department head Wendi Norris signed off on his paperwork, including unauthorized overtime.

Norris resigned in May 2012, a few months after the investigation began. She hasn't returned phone calls from Local 10.

Baptiste also resigned, but months earlier. He wasn't home when Local 10 went to his house Wednesday.

At least some of the bogus invoices went for approval before the full Miami-Dade County Board of Commissioners, who often rely heavily on details from their staff to make decisions.

Prosecutors have said the actions of supervisors in the department don't rise to the level of criminal intent.