SAN ANGELO, TX — The sentencing date and location for former San Angelo Police Chief Tim Vasquez has been set for July 18 at 1 p.m. at the US Courthouse, 33 E Twohig, San Angelo. Vasquez has since changed lawyers and his new lawyer wants to know why Vasquez was remanded into the custody of the US Marshals instead of being released on bond following his conviction on March 24 of bribery and three counts of honest mail services fraud. Vasquez has been held in the Terry County Jail in Brownfield since his jury trial’s conclusion in Lubbock on March 24.
In the courtroom back in March, presiding Federal Judge James Wesley Hendrix ordered Vasquez locked up to await his sentencing date. “I think the information is strong. I think it is material and is concerning to me,” Hendrix stated, expressing his fears that Vasquez was a flight risk.
Generally, convicted felons can be released on bond to await their sentencing unless there are circumstances that convince a judge to deny a bail bond.
Vasquez’s new attorney, Franklyn Mickelsen, claimed in court filings that he as Vasquez’s new attorney has not been told what that flight risk information is and he wants to know. Apparently Vasquez himself doesn’t know what the information is.
“After Mr. Vasquez was convicted at trial, the government disclosed information to the Court in camera that it had learned in a grand jury investigation. Mr. Vasquez’s counsel at the time agreed to exclude his client from the in camera hearing,” Mickelsen stated in the filing.
Vasquez’s former attorney, David Guinn, informed Mickelsen that he knew what the information was but, according to Mickelsen, Guinn told him he was not allowed to disclose it.
On May 13, the Vasquez docket in the Federal Northern District Court produced a slew of filings from Mickelsen concerning the transcripts of the pretrial conference on March 21 until the trial ended on March 24. In all, the transcripts Mickelsen requested to be released could include the entire trial in four volumes plus the transcripts of the pretrial hearings. US Attorney Jeffrey Haag has made a sealed request pertaining to redactions of the court transcripts. The judge ordered Haag to respond to Mickelsen’s request to unseal the transcripts by May 24. If there are no objections, the transcripts could be released to the public in 90 days.
Tim Vasquez was convicted of receiving bribes from public safety radio vendor Dailey and Wells Communications, Inc. of San Antonio. In return for bribes, that prosecutors said were paid as overpayments for hiring Vasquez’s band, Funky Munky, Vasquez became Dailey and Wells’ paid promoter inside city hall. The City of San Angelo purchased all of its public safety radios from Dailey and Wells since 2008. Vasquez served at San Angelo’s elected chief of police from 2004 until his defeat in 2016. The jury found Vasquez guilty on March 24.
Vasquez faces up to 70 years in prison if the judge orders the prison terms to be served consecutively. The maximum sentence is 10 years for bribery and 20 years for each of the three counts of mail fraud. Interestingly, each of the mail fraud convictions are for each check the City of San Angelo cut and mailed to pay for the entire $5.7 million Harris radio upgrade to the public safety radio network installed throughout the city by Dailey and Wells in 2016.