by: Sergio Chapa
Vela appeared before U.S. District Court Judge David Hittner in Houston on Wednesday afternoon.
Federal prosecutors alleged that Vela, his school board president brother and their transportation director father all solicited and accepted bribes to award Progreso ISD contracts.
According to the plea agreement, the Velas are believed to have received more than $300,000 in bribe payments.
Sentencing for Mayor Vela is set for July 25th before Judge Hittner in Houston where he could face up to 10 years in federal prison and/or a $250,000 fine.
Vela’s brother Michael Vela is expected to plead guilty on Friday while their father is expected to plead guilty next Wednesday.