Progreso mayor suspended from his school district job

Progreso Mayor Omar Vela // File Photo

Indicted Progreso Mayor Omar Vela is out on bond and under house arrest where he has been suspended without pay from his school district job.

Vela worked with Progreso ISD as a security and truancy coordinator.

In a letter dated September 5th, Superintendent Dr. Fernando Castillo suspended Vela without pay but is allowing him to continue to receive health insurance benefits.

A federal grand jury in Houston indicted Vela, his school board president brother Michael Vela and their father Jose Guadalupe Vela for a "pay to play" bribery scheme involving school district and city contracts.

FBI agents allege that the Vela family used their power to retaliate against Dr. Castillo and others who did not go along with their scheme.

In another letter, Dr. Castillo also suspended Vela's father Jose Guadalupe Vela, who served as the school district's transportation and maintenance supervisor.

In his letters to both, Dr. Castillo wrote that he suspended them because the allegations directly involved the school district.

"In the event that that matters in the above-referenced case are resolved in your favor, I would happily consider reinstatement," Dr. Castillo wrote. "In the meantime, I hope you will understand that this is a necessary measure to restore public confidence in this institution."

Jose Guadalupe Vela resigned from his post in a letter dated on Monday. He is expected to be able to keep his retirement benefits.

School board members are expected to decide at their next meeting on Monday on how to fill the seat vacated by Michael Vela's resignation.

The three family members are also expected to be arraigned before a federal judge in Houston on Monday.