Former San Angelo Police Chief Sentenced to 15 ½ Years in Corruption Case
Former San Angelo Chief of Police Tim Vasquez has been sentenced to 15 ½ years for accepting bribes, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Chad E. Meacham.
A federal jury found Timothy Ray Vasquez, 52, guilty of one count of receipt of a bribe by an agent of an organization receiving federal funds and three counts of honest services mail fraud in March after three days of trial. Mr. Vasquez - who was elected Chief of Police in 2004, then reelected in 2008 and 2012 - was first indicted in January 2020. He was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge James Wesley Hendrix, who also ordered him to pay a $35,000 fine.
"Law enforcement officers, particularly those in leadership positions, should be bastions of integrity. By accepting bribes, Mr. Vasquez defiled his badge," said U.S. Attorney Chad Meacham following the verdict. "The Justice Department is determined to root out public corruption wherever we find it. Our citizens deserve honest public servants."
"Mr. Vasquez will now be held accountable for using his official position for financial gain at the expense of the residents of San Angelo. Each act of greed and dishonor affected fundamental aspects of the government processes and procedures that were designed to benefit the people they serve," said Dallas FBI Special Agent in Charge Matthew J. DeSarno. "Our communities should not have to question the integrity and trust of public officials, and today's verdict is a step in restoring that confidence."
According to evidence presented at trial, Mr. Vasquez used his official position to help Dailey & Wells Communications, Inc., a radio system vendor, land a $5.7-million-dollar contract with the City of San Angelo, Texas. In return, Dailey & Wells and its affiliates funneled Mr. Vasquez and his band, "Funky Munky," more than $175,000. Dailey & Wells and its affiliates also provided him tickets for luxury suites at Dallas Cowboys and San Antonio Spurs games, tickets for a luxury suite at Journey concert, and free use of a luxury condominium at Alteza Condos in San Antonio.
Mr. Vasquez never disclosed to the City of San Angelo or the City Council that he had a business relationship with Dailey & Wells. The Texas Local Government Code, the City of San Angelo Employee Manual, and the San Angelo Purchasing Policy Manual all required Mr. Vasquez to disclose this relationship.
In February 2007, the City of San Angelo solicited bids for a new radio system for first responders, including the police department. In April, a committee recommended the city award the $5.6 million contract to Dailey & Wells, which was eventually selected for the contract.
Three months later, in July, Juniper Valley, L.P., an affiliate of Dailey & Wells, cut a $10,000 check to "Funky Munky Band." Mr. Vasquez deposited the funds into his personal checking account. For the next eight years, Mr. Vasquez received yearly payments of approximately $8,000 from Dailey & Wells or its affiliates, Buster & Buddy and Trixie & Fini, either made out to Mr. Vasquez or his band. Testimony at trial revealed that Funky Munky's average fee to play at an event was about $2,000. By June 2, 2015, Mr. Vasquez and Funky Munky had collected more than $84,000.
In 2014 and 2015, Dailey & Wells contacted the City of San Angelo about updating its radio system from a proprietary EDACS system, which was in the process of being phased out, to a P25 Phase II system. When the City's IT Manager told Mr. Vasquez of the estimated cost of $6 million dollars and that it would have to go through the bidding process, Mr. Vasquez told the IT Manager they were not going through the bidding process and were going to continue to use Dailey & Wells. Mr. Vasquez suggested that the IT Manager use a public safety exception to avoid the bidding process and the IT Manager agreed. Ultimately, a purchasing cooperative was used to purchase the Dailey & Wells system.
Mr. Vasquez contacted a San Angelo City Councilmember and lobbied her to place the Dailey & Wells contract on the City Council's agenda. Mr. Vasquez advocated for the Dailey & Wells contract before the City Council on December 16, 2014, and June 2, 2015.
Six people who were city council members at the time testified that Mr. Vasquez had significant influence with the City Council and it relied upon his advice in public safety matters. All six stated that they did not know Mr. Vasquez had a business relationship with Dailey & Wells before the vote on June 2, 2015. Five of those former city council members testified that if they had known that fact they would have voted against awarding the contract to Dailey & Wells. Two of the former city council members stated that if they had known of the payments then they would have disqualified Dailey & Wells from being a radio vendor to the city.
Following a presentation made by then-Chief Vasquez and another employee, San Angelo awarded a new $5.7 million contract to Dailey & Wells in late 2015.
In November 2016, Mr. Vasquez became aware that he was under investigation for the radio contract with Dailey & Wells. About one month later, Dailey & Wells wrote a $50,000 retainer check to "Funky Munky," noting "Timothy R. Vasquez" in the check's memo section. A few days later, Mr. Vasquez endorsed the $50,000 check and deposited the entire amount into his personal bank account.
In total, Mr. Vasquez, through Funky Munky, received at least $175,000 from Dailey & Wells and its affiliates.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Tom Green County Sheriff's Office, and the Texas Rangers conducted the investigation with the full cooperation of the San Angelo Police Department and the City of San Angelo. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jeff Haag, Sean Long, and Juanita Fielden are prosecuting the case.