Ethics Explorer A Guide to the Financial Interests of Elected Officials

State Board of Education Member Ruben Cortez Jr. (D)

Industry
Business Executive
Spouse
Sandra Karina Cortez
Financial Statements

Sources of Income

  • Cortez is co-director of ZAYCOR Management Company. He also has business interests in DirectLine Consulting Solutions LLC and vending machine supplier SNAKRE Vending LLC, which ZAYCOR oversees.

  • His wife is a school administrator for the Brownsville Independent School District.

  • Cortez also sits on the board of the Region One Education Service Center, which is part of a state-wide system created by the 59th Texas Legislature to assist school districts across the state.

Property

  • Cortez and his wife own residential property in Brownsville valued at $122,069.

  • They own two other properties in Brownsville from which they receive rental income, including a condo appraised at $75,246.

     

Analysis

  • SNAKRE, a company he has business interests in that has repeatedly won the commissary contract to sell goods to prisoners in Cameron County, was the subject of a 2013 Brownsville Herald article suggesting the contract had not been properly bid — and that Cortez’s cousin was the sheriff’s “right hand man.” Cortez told the newspaper that there was no conflict, and that it was the sheriff’s decision, not his cousin’s. 

  • He is a former member of the Brownsville Independent School District Board of Trustees, where he served on its budget, legislative, internal audit, policy, curriculum and instruction, technology and dropout prevention committees.