How will school board president's resignation affect Progreso ISD?
Tue, 10 Sep 2013 22:43:03 GMT —
Progreso ISD School Board President Michael Vela is on bond and officially resigned from office but it TMs unclear how it will affect the district.
U.S. Magistrate Judge granted $100,000 bonds for Vela, his brother Progreso Mayor Omar Vela and their father Jose Guadalupe Vela last week.
The three family members are facing federal charges for an alleged pay to play bribery scheme involving city and school district contracts.
Federal prosecutors allege years of corruption and several acts of retaliation against those who did not go along with the alleged scheme.
Both Michael Vela and his father, who worked as Progreso ISD TMs transportation and maintenance director, promised to resign from their posts in order to assuage fears of retaliation.
It TMs still not clear how Michael Vela TMs resignation will affect business on the school board or if there will be a special election to replace him.
Neither school district officials nor their attorney Kevin O TMHanlon returned calls or e-mails for comment about how the resignation would affect the district.
Progreso ISD officials released a copy of Michael Vela TMs resignation letter on Tuesday afternoon but a records request for his father TMs resignation letter remains pending.
In the letter dated September 4th and faxed from Vela TMs defense attorney TMs office, the school board president officially confirmed resigning from office.
Vela wrote that resigning from office is not admitting any guilt in the allegations but is necessary to fight and clear his name.
However, because of the severity of the allegations and the long expected process in this matter, makes it impossible for me to continue to serve as school board president, Vela wrote.
Vela apologized to voters and resigned effective immediately.
Upcoming Court Appearance
Although Vela, his brother and their father are out on bond, they face a series of strict conditions including not being able to talk to each other.
Judge Ramos ordered that the three each wear GPS device and be under 24-hour lockdown but are allowed to travel to Houston for court hearings in their case.
The federal judge added that the three cannot contact witnesses in the case and that the three family members cannot talk to each other.
According to the judge TMs order, the three must surrender any passports and refrain from excessive use of alcohol with no drug use and no guns.
All three family members posted bond on Monday and are expected to be formally arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge George C. Hanks, Jr. in Houston on Monday, September 16 th.
The three are expected to plead not guilty and receive a series of court dates for their trial.