SAN ANGELO, Texas — San Angelo’s former police chief has been sentenced to 15-1/2 years in federal prison, plus a $35,000 fine with one year of supervised release after serving the sentence.
Timothy R. Vasquez was found guilty in March 2022 on one charge of bribery and three counts of honest services mail fraud.
The sentencing phase for Vasquez was held at the OC Fisher Courthouse in US District Court. Vasquez has been in the Terry County Jail since he was booked March 25, 2022, because the prosecution able to show he was a ‘significant flight risk.” His trial was held in Lubbock.
Vasquez was indicted by a federal grand jury in January 2020 on charges of public corruption - one count of receipt of a bribe by an agent of an organization receiving federal funds; and three counts of honest services mail fraud - following an investigation by the FBI Dallas Field Office.
Vasquez allegedly used his official position to help a radio system vendor land two government contracts worth more than $11 million, the indictment said. In return, the vendor and its affiliates allegedly funneled him and his band, “Funky Munky,” more than $130,000.
Per the indictment, in February 2007, the City of San Angelo solicited bids for a new radio system for first responders, including the police department. Three vendors submitted bids.
Vasquez allegedly asked one of the vendors for a vacation trip, but was rebuffed.
In April, Vasquez recommended the City of San Angelo award the $5.6 million contract to a different vendor, identified in the indictment as “Vendor 1,” who was eventually selected for the contract.
Three months later, in July, Juniper Valley, L.P., an affiliate of Vendor 1, cut a $10,000 check to “Funky Munky Band.” Vasquez deposited the funds into his personal checking account.
For the next eight years, Mr. Vasquez received yearly payments of approximately $8,000 from Vendor 1 and its affiliates, Juniper Valley and Trixie & Fini, either made out to Vasquez or his band.
By 2015, Vasquez and Funky Munky had collected more than $84,000, including $38,200 the defendant deposited directly into his personal bank account and $29,800 he withdrew in cash.
However, seven years after the original contract was awarded, the radio technology provided by Vendor 1 was “phased out.” In an email with City employees, Vasquez indicated he wanted to “use the same vendor” for the new equipment, and urged the city manager to support Vendor 1. In another email with a City employee, he discussed an exemption from the competitive bidding process that would allow San Angelo to award the contract to Vendor 1.
In federal court in March 2022, the former police chief took the stand in his own defense. Vasquez said his band and the Dailey & Wells radio system had nothing to do with one another.
He told the court his job as a police officer and as a member of the band, RU Ready, in the 1990s were kept separately from each other. Vasquez said while playing with Oklahoma band, the Easy Money Band, he had the opportunity to leave his job as an officer and tour after being approached by band member Toby Keith.
Additionally, Vasquez said, in about 1995-1996, he was playing with Shane Stockton for eight months, and as the band was about to tour with George Strait, he decided to stay with the SAPD and be a "weekend warrior" for financial reasons.
When his defense team asked why Vasquez didn't complete a form about a conflict of interest related to his band, Funky Munky, being paid for performances by Dailey & Wells, which had been awarded a contract with the City of San Angelo, Vasquez said, "I didn't know about the form. I didn't know until I got arrested that there was a conflict of interest."
Vasquez told the court he never hid that Funky Munky played gigs for Dailey & Wells.
Vasquez became emotional when asked by his defense if he knew then what he knows now, would that have changed things.
He tearfully said after everything he's gone through - "I would've filled out that form. I would have filled out the conflict of interest paperwork that I didn't know existed."
The jury found Vasquez guilty on all counts. He was then remanded into the custody of federal marshals and booked into the Terry County Jail.
Vasquez was remanded into the custody of marshals before being transported the Federal Correction Institute in Seagoville.