The former San Angelo police chief was found guilty of accepting bribes, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas, Chad E. Meacham, announced.
After a three-day trial and approximately seven hours of deliberation, a federal jury found Timothy Ray Vasquez, 52, guilty of one count of receiving a bribe from an agent of an organization receiving federal funds and three counts of honest services mail fraud. Mr Vasquez – who was elected police chief in 2004 and then re-elected in 2008 and 2012 – was first indicted in January 2020.
“Law enforcement officers, especially those in leadership positions, should be bastions of integrity. By accepting bribes, Mr. Vasquez sullied his badge,” U.S. Attorney Chad Meacham said. “The Department of Justice is committed to stamping 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 profit at the expense of the people of San Angelo. Each act of greed and dishonor has affected fundamental aspects of 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 the Today’s verdict is a step to restore that trust.”
According to evidence presented at trial, Mr. Vasquez used his official position to help Dailey & Wells Communications, Inc., a radio systems provider, land a $5.7 million contract with the city of San Angelo, Australia. Texas. In return, Dailey & Wells and its affiliates funneled Mr. Vasquez and his band, “Funky Munky,” over $175,000. Dailey & Wells and its affiliates also provided him with luxury suite tickets to Dallas Cowboys and San Antonio Spurs games, luxury suite tickets to the 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 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 that the city award the $5.6 million contract to Dailey & Wells, which was ultimately selected for the contract.
Three months later, in July, Juniper Valley, LP, a subsidiary of Dailey & Wells, presented a check for $10,000 to “Funky Munky Band.” Mr. Vasquez deposited the funds into his personal checking account. Over the next eight years, Mr. Vasquez received annual payments of approximately $8,000 from Dailey & Wells or its affiliates, Buster & Buddy and Trixie & Fini, either payable to Mr. Vasquez or his group. Testimony at trial revealed that Funky Munky’s average fee to perform at an event was around $2,000. As of June 2, 2015, Mr. Vasquez and Funky Munky have raised over $84,000.
In 2014 and 2015, Dailey & Wells approached the City of San Angelo about upgrading its radio system from a proprietary EDACS system, which was 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 and that he would have to go through the bidding process, Mr. Vasquez told the IT manager that they weren’t going to not go through the bidding process and that they would continue to use Daily & Wells. Mr. Vasquez suggested that the IT manager use a public safety exception to avoid the bidding process and the IT manager agreed. Eventually, a buying cooperative was used to purchase the Dailey & Wells system.
Mr. Vasquez contacted a San Angelo city councilwoman and urged her to put the Dailey & Wells contract on the city council’s agenda. Mr. Vasquez defended the Dailey & Wells contract before the city council on December 16, 2014 and June 2, 2015.
Six people who were members of the city council at the time testified that Mr. Vasquez had considerable influence on the city council and that the council relied on his advice on matters of public safety. All six said they did not know Mr. Vasquez had a business relationship with Dailey & Wells before the June 2, 2015 vote. Five of those former city council members testified that if they had known this fact, they would have voted against awarding the contract with Dailey & Wells. Two of the former city council members said that had they known of the payments, they would have disqualified Dailey & Wells from being a radio salesman for the city.
Following an introduction 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 learned he was being investigated for the radio deal with Dailey & Wells. About a month later, Dailey & Wells wrote a deposit check for $50,000 to “Funky Munky”, noting “Timothy R. Vasquez” in the memo section of the check. A few days later, Mr. Vasquez endorsed the check for $50,000 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 accused was returned to the custody of the US Marshals Service after the verdict. Mr. Vasquez faces up to 70 years in federal person.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, 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.