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Thu Apr 3, 2014, 02:35 AM

Progreso mayor pleads guilty to bribery

McALLEN — The mayor of the border town of Progreso pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy and bribery charges Wednesday and is free on bond pending his sentencing hearing.

Federal agents arrested Mayor Omar Vela, Progreso ISD school board President Michael “Mikey” Vela and their father Jose Guadalupe Vela in late August on a federal indictment with 10 counts of bribery and conspiracy in a “pay to play” scheme that included cash bribes, liquor bottles and trips with mistresses that were paid by those looking to do business with the school district and the city, court records show.

In the plea agreement that Vela signed Wednesday in Houston, he admitted to receiving approximately $300,000 from Bustos and an unidentified school board attorney in order for the two to get contracts from the city and the school board.

On Jan. 15, federal agents arrested Jesus Bustos, the owner of IDEA Group LLC, an architectural firm in McAllen, on bribery charges accusing him of paying the Velas in order to secure various contracts, court records show.

More at http://www.themonitor.com/news/local/progreso-mayor-pleads-guilty-to-bribery/article_a46717f6-baaa-11e3-a83b-001a4bcf6878.html .

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