South Texas mayor's relatives admit bribery

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Associated Press

Posted on April 10, 2014 at 4:02 AM

McALLEN, Texas (AP) — Three relatives of a small South Texas town's mayor have pleaded guilty to conspiracy and bribery in a "pay to play" public contracting system involving federal funds.

In a statement, the U.S. Attorney's office in McAllen says Jose Vela and his sons, Progreso Mayor Omar Vela and school board president Michael Vela, were originally charged in a federal indictment with using their political clout to force contractors with the city or school district to pay bribes to them.

Jose and Michael Vela pleaded guilty to conspiracy and bribery. Orlando Vela, another of Jose Vela's sons, pleaded guilty to theft by submitting invoices to the school district for items he didn't supply.

Mayor Omar Vela pleaded guilty to bribery April 2.

They remain free on bond pending sentencing July 25.

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