SAN ANGELO, Texas (KLST/KSAN) — Timothy R. Vasquez, the former San Angelo Police Chief, was convicted on Thursday of one count of bribery and three counts of honest services mail fraud. He faces up to 70 years in federal prison for accepting more than $175,000 over the course of almost ten years.
The Department of Justice says checks aren’t all that Vasquez received in exchange for his help. Vasquez was provided luxury suites at Dallas Cowboys and San Antonio Spurs games, a suite at a Journey concert, and the free use of a luxury condominium at Alteeza Condos in San Antonio.
In January of 2020, Vasquez was indicted by a federal grand jury and arrested following an investigation by the FBI and the Texas Rangers, with the cooperation of the San Angelo Police Department and the City of San Angelo.
What led to Vaquez’s arrest and eventual conviction? Here’s a timeline of events that eventually led to the arrest and conviction of San Angelo’s former Police Chief.
Timothy Ray Vasquez was elected San Angelo Chief of Police.
The City of San Angelo solicited bids for a new radio system for police and first responders. Three vendors submitted bids.
Vasquez, who was appointed to the committee that would make recommendations to the City for the eventual selection of a radio system vendor, reportedly asked one of the three vendors for a vacation trip but, according to the Department of Justice, was rebuffed.
The committee recommended the $5.6 million contract be awarded to Dailey & Wells, a San Antonio-based communications company. Dailey & Wells would later be referred to as “Vendor 1” in federal indictments.
Juniper Valley L.L.P, an affiliate of Dailey & Wells, issued a check to Vasquez’s band “Funky Munky” for $10,000. Vasquez deposited the check into his personal checking account.
For the next eight years, Dailey & Wells or its affiliates would pay Vasquez an annual amount of approximately $8,000 using checks issued to Vasquez or his band.
Vasquez was re-elected as Chief of Police
Vasquez was re-elected as Chief of Police a second time.
Dailey & Wells contacted the City of San Angelo in an effort to get the City to upgrade the radio system purchased in 2007. The old system, a proprietary EDACS system, was being phased out in favor of a system that broadcasted using the newer P25 Phase II standard.
Vasquez, when informed of the need to submit the contract for a new radio system — estimated at the time to cost $6 million — to the bidding process, suggested the City IT Manager use a public safety exception to avoid the bidding process. The IT Manager agreed to the use of a purchasing cooperative in order to buy the radio system from Dailey & Wells.
Vasquez contacted a member of the San Angelo City Council and lobbied her to place the Dailey & Wells contract on the City Council agenda.
Vasquez advocated for the Dailey & Wells contract before City Council.
Vasquez advocated for Dailey & Wells again on June 2nd with a presentation given to City Council with another city employee. Following the presentation, City Council voted to award Dailey & Wells a new contract worth $5.7 million.
Video of Vasquez’s full presentation to the City Council, courtesy of the City of San Angelo, is below.
At this point, Vasquez had collected more than $84,000 in payments made to him or to his band.
Vasquez loses election bid to current San Angelo Chief of Police Frank Carter.
Vasquez became aware that he was under investigation for the contract with Dailey & Wells.
Dailey & Wells issued a $50,000 retainer check to “Funky Munky” with “Timothy R. Vasquez” in the check’s memo section. Vasquez endorsed the check and deposited the entire $50,000 into his personal account.
Vasquez was indicted by a federal grand jury and arrested after an investigation by the FBI Dallas Field Office and the Texas Rangers. The San Angelo Police Department and the City of San Angelo cooperated with the investigation.
Vasquez pleaded not guilty in federal court in Lubbock a week after his arrest. The Department of Justice announced that Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jeff Haag and Chad Meacham would prosecute the case.
After multiple delays due to the Coronavirus pandemic and the complexity of the case before the federal court, Vasques’s trial started on March 21st.
After a three-day trial and approximately seven hours of jury deliberation, Vasquez was found guilty on all four charges — one count of receipt of a bribe by an agent of an organization receiving federal funds and three counts of honest services mail fraud. The maximum penalty for all four charges is 70 years in federal prison.
Vasquez was remanded to the custody of the US Marshals Service, where he will await the sentencing phase — a process that will take months.
At approximately 5:00 PM on Thursday, March 24th, Vasquez was booked into the Terry County jail in Brownfield, TX.