Former Texas police chief gets 15 1/2 years for bribery

SAN ANGELO, Texas (AP) — A former West Texas police chief was sentenced Friday to 15 1/2 years in prison for taking bribes for a multimillion-dollar contract for a city vendor.

A federal judge sentenced former San Angelo police Chief Timothy Ray Vasquez, 52, in San Angelo after a jury in March convicted him of bribery and mail fraud. U.S. District Judge James Wesley Hendrix also fined Vasquez $35,000.

Vasquez was police chief from 2004 to 2016 before losing a bid for reelection while targeted by federal investigators. He was indicted in January 2020.

Federal prosecutors presented evidence that Vasquez used his position as police chief to help a radio system vendor land a city contract worth almost $6 million. In return, the vendor paid more than $175,000 to Vasquez and provided him with the use of luxury suites at sporting events and a rock concert, as well as a San Antonio condo.

Vasquez could have been sentenced to up to 70 years in prison.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.