Ex-police chief accused of taking $134,000 in bribes

SAN ANGELO, Texas (AP) — A former West Texas police chief has been indicted on federal bribery and fraud counts that accuse him of taking $134,000 in bribes to help a radio communications vendor obtain contracts.

Timothy Ray Vasquez made an initial court appearance Friday in federal court in San Angelo. He had served as the city’s police chief from 2004 until 2016, when he was already under investigation and lost his re-election bid to present chief Frank Carter. Statements by Carter and the U.S. attorney’s office both say the San Angelo Police Department has cooperated with the federal probe.

The indictment, handed up Wednesday by a federal grand jury, accused Vasquez of using his position to help a radio system vendor obtain $11 million in city contracts in return for the payments. The indictment does not identify the vendor.

If convicted, Vasquez could be sentenced to as many as 70 years in federal prison.

Vasquez has no published telephone number and could not be contacted, and no record listing an attorney for him could be found.