Vasquez Appeals Conviction

LUBBOCK, TX — Former San Angelo Police Chief Timothy R. Vasquez told the United States District of the Northern District of Texas on August 10 that he is appealing his conviction and sentence to the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Vasquez was convicted March 24 for bribery and three counts of honest services mail fraud. Federal District Judge James Wesley Hendrix sentenced Vasquez to 15.5 years in federal prison and ordered him to pay a $35,000 fine in the San Angelo Federal Courthouse on Friday.

Vasquez changed attorneys following his conviction in March. He hired Franklyn “Mick” Mickelsen of Dallas who replaced David Guinn of Lubbock. Mickelsen and his partner Clint Broken have successfully appealed a number of federal convictions but so far, the firm's record with Vasquez is been mired in setbacks.

Mickelson was unsuccessful in convincing Judge Hendrix to unseal the transcripts of the Vasquez trial in March in Lubbock. He was also unsuccessful in convincing Hendrix to reveal the reason Vasquez was held in custody for the three-and-a-half months between his conviction and sentencing.

Judge Hendrix was stern on Vasquez during sentencing on Friday. He admonished Vasquez for having too little contrition or remorse for what he had done.

In Vasquez’s plea for clemency during the sentencing hearing, it was apparent that the former police chief still does not believe the payments Dailey and Wells paid him for his band’s performances were bribes. In addition, Vasquez told the judge that he had taken a lie detector test concerning his testimony and passed.

Before handing down a sentence the judge said was was a greater number of months in jail than the federal sentencing guidelines, he told Vasquez he believe the former police chief lied on the stand when testifying in his own defense. He said that Vasquez lied about the connection between the payments for his band’s gigs with the radio vendor and he lied about the value of the Dallas Cowboys tickets Harris radio provided him when Vasquez and friends were entertained on two occasions in the Harris suites during a football game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit is located in New Orleans, Louisiana. Each year the court considers about 2000 criminal appeals.

There has been no federal court action observed against the so-called Vendor 1 in DoJ press releases. In court, Vendor 1 was revealed to be public safety radio vendor Dailey and Wells of San Antonio who, as the jury decided, provided the bribes to the former police chief amounting to $178,000 over a decade.

In the pre-trial instructions, Vasquez’s attorneys were forbidden from asking about who the party making the bribe was or to even suggest there were co-conspirators. During his closing argument, Vasquez attorney David Guinn was rebuked by the judge when he treaded too closely to the line of argument, ‘if Vasquez received a bribe, who bribed him?’

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