"Not guilty" pleas for Progreso mayor, family in bribery scheme

The three are out on bond.

Progreso Mayor Omar Vela, his brother and their father all appeared before a federal judge in Houston where they pleaded "not guilty" to their alleged roles in a bribery scheme.

Vela, his brother Michael Vela and their father Jose Guadalupe Vela all before U.S. Magistrate Judge George C. Hanks, Jr. in Houston on Monday morning.

The three are out on bond and pleaded "not guilty" to their roles in a "pay to play" bribery scheme involving city and school district contracts.

Court dates were not immediately available but the three will now be headed to trial in Houston where federal prosecutors have filed the case.

Michael Vela recently resigned from his post as Progreso ISD school board president while his father resigned as the school district's transportation and maintenance director.

Omar Vela has been suspended without pay from his truancy and security job at the school district but has not resigned as mayor.