Houston Community College Trustee Dave Wilson on Thursday announced an investigation into misconduct.
Wilson said that Wayne Dolcefino will lead the investigation into the school after Chris Oliver’s recent bribery conviction.
Wilson expressed his disappointment in Oliver’s actions and felt the school needed an independent investigation for the benefit of the students.
Oliver, 53, was originally charged March 9 and pleaded guilty May 15.
HCC trustee hires consultant, lawyer to look into money troubles (Houston Chronicle)
Houston Community College trustee Dave Wilson, expressing doubt with the impartiality of the college system’s internal investigation into procurement practices, hired consultant Wayne Dolcefino and attorney Keith Gross to investigate procurement, facilities, employment and related financial matters.
New e-mails obtained by Dolcefino Consulting prove Mayor Sylvester Turner tried to keep the company EcoHub from being able to compete for a new Houston recycling contract. That move may now be keeping Houstonians from saving tens of millions of dollars.
The company filed a protest when Turner issued a new bid for recycling last year, but the Mayor has insisted they were welcome to compete for the lucrative contract instead. Now we know Turner fought to write the bid to intentionally keep them out.
The City of Houston is fighting release of e-mails written in 2016 on recycling, but a handful of documents released late last week expose the real truth.
In April 2016, City of Houston Procurement Officers were trying to make sure the new recycling bid included language that would allow One Bin type companies to complete. The City of Houston was in the final negotiations with ECOHUB when Turner took office, but instead of finishing the recommended deal that could save taxpayers millions, Turner sought a new bidding.
Amidst attempts to add the language, Solid Waste Director Harry Hayes told bid writers that he had elevated the issue to the Mayor and that Turner had declared “One Bin” dead.
“These e-mails are smoking guns, so imagine what are in the documents the City of Houston is fighting so hard to keep secret,” says Wayne Dolcefino, President of Dolcefino Consulting. “The Mayor owes taxpayers the full truth. We shouldn’t have to go to court to get him to be honest about this deal, especially when we have a City in deep financial trouble.”
The scandal over ECOHUB has become especially important because the company has offered to share profits with Houston taxpayers, and promised savings of up to 40 million dollars a year.
“That is enough money to give Houston firefighters the huge raise they deserve,” says Dolcefino. “Houston City Council decides contracts. They should order a bid rigging investigation and if wrongdoing is found, they should move forward to finish the contract negotiations with ECOHUB.”
The documents are available below. Wayne is available for comments to the media concerning this Houston recycling story.Hanahan Emails re Ecohub
More than 60,000 people have already viewed the offer from Dolcefino Consulting on Facebook.
We offered to help the Houston City Secretary count the petitions so there would be a November vote for our Houston firefighters (HFD).
And folks are stepping up to help.
Pasadena businessman Jack Rodriguez even offered to arrange a bus load of senior citizens to come to Dolcefino Consulting headquarters on Kirby Drive to help get it done.
“We have been contacted by the fathers of young firefighters, even the children of firefighters thanking us for our offer, says Wayne Dolcefino, President of Dolcefino Consulting. “We have also received lots of complaints about Mayor Sylvester Turner, who clearly could get the petitions done if he really wanted to. Houstonians are watching.”
By the way, no one from the City of Houston has called us, even though I know the Mayor knows how to find us.
Dolcefino Consulting has offered to help count the petitions for the vote absolutely free as a public service.
“Time is running out. It is amazing to me that Mayor Turner is not accepting free help to give the citizens of Houston the right to vote on pay parity for folks who would risk their lives to save his family,” says Dolcefino. “Let’s put petty politics aside, and join together to make this happen.”
Our video offering the help has reached 160,000 people so far. You can view it on our Houston firefighters pay page. Like it and share it.
Let’s put pressure on the City.
The Houston firefighters who risk their lives to protect us simply want a chance for voters to decide in November if they deserve to be paid the same as police. The City Secretary’s office says it may not have enough folks to count the petitions to get it on the ballot. We are running out of time to make this happen.
We can’t hose the firefighters.
Dolcefino Consulting wants to make sure Houstonians get their chance to vote, so to City Secretary, Anna Russell we make this blazing offer: We will help count the petitions so the deadline is met. And, we will do it for free.
At a press conference Monday morning, the Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association asked Mayor Turner to stop dragging his feet. Certify the 32,000 verified signatures now.
According to http://www.letthevotersdecide.us/ starting Fire Fighters make $28,900 per year. That’s $13,100 less than the starting salary of Houston Police. Since 2011, Police have gotten 26% pay raises, compared to the just 3% raises given to Fire Fighters.
“It’s just not fair,” says Wayne Dolcefino, president of Dolcefino Consulting, “Other cities have pay parity for fire and police. The Mayor’s office seems to be deliberately delaying a thing called democracy…let the voters decide.”
With only 2 weeks left to certify the names and draft an election order, time is short.
Mayor Turner, you have our number. Let’s get this done.
Momentum is growing to stop Houston Mayor Sylvester and Houston City Council from making a multi-million-dollar mistake.
Houston’s best-known environmentalist, Attorney and Rice University Professor James Blackburn is calling on City leaders to reject the proposed recycling contract with FCC Environmental Services. Back in 2014, Blackburn was one of a 10 member panel appointed by former Mayor Annise Parker to advise the city on the feasibility of the One Bin For All program that could end the need for expensive and dirty landfills.
In his letter, Blackburn states, “no solution comes close to the One Bin For All concept,” and calls it a “true view of the future.” He urges City leaders to “help lead us to that future by example.”
Blackburn also called the proposed 15-year contract with FCC way too long stating that it ties the City to a program that is “inferior and beneath the standards that should exist for a great city.”
Mayor Turner announced the deal with FCC late last month and lost his cool when reporters started questioning the details and the flip flop on Houston’s recycling future. The city already lost a potential $70 million-dollar federal grant because of Turner’s about face. When asked about One Bin For All, Mayor Turner said it was a deal put together by the previous administration that he had no requirement to continue.
Documents have surfaced alleging Solid Waste Boss Harry Hayes may have been playing favorites for big garbage companies, who stand to lose millions if One Bin was chosen. Adding to the allegations of possible corruption, Mayor Turner is fighting release of phone records, e-mails, even documents that identify the process used to pick the proposed new FCC deal.
Despite the Mayor’s objections to One Bin For All, the City was in support of the program at some point. The City of Houston’s own website still has a page up for the program.
Don’t believe us? Here’s the link: http://www.houstontx.gov/onebinforall/
George Gitschel, the inventor of the One Bin For All concept is urging all residents of the city of Houston to contact their city council member and ask they vote no on the deal with FCC.
The City Council Community Affairs Committee is scheduled to review the deal with FCC at 9:30 am tomorrow.One Bin for All letter to Mayor and City Council 7.17.17
COH Community Affairs Agenda July 18
Mayor Sylvester Turner may actually be the one we can blame for a $500 million-dollar state of the art environmental facility NOT coming to Houston!
And this is the “green” mayor?
Last fall, Houston was in the final running for a huge 70-million-dollar federal energy grant for a state of art environmental facility at the old Champion Paper property. The CERI (Circular Economy Remanufacturing Institute) facility was to be centered around a planned recycling operation to be run by ECO-HUB, the Houston company which had been negotiating a contract with Houston City Hall. It is the same company that has now filed corruption complaints with the Houston City Controller, accusing the Mayor of making sure they couldn’t get the cities business.
Last September, Mayor Sylvester Turner signed a letter of support for CERI, and wrote Houston was finalizing their agreement with ECO-HUB. A few weeks later Turner instead announced a new recycling bidding process. ECO-HUB eventually protested to Houston City Hall and now has taken its complaints about the Mayor public.
When confronted by reporters last week, Mayor Turner claimed the letter from last year doesn’t say it endorses ECO-HUB or its recycling idea, and that, in fact, he never supported the ECO-HUB project. Turner says the letter was meant instead to just help the professor at his alma mater the University of Houston.
Apparently, the folks at CERI thought it was a very clear promise negotiations on the ECO-HUB contract were almost complete. Hard to blame him if you read the letter.
Now, another letter prepared by that very same professor shows Turner was warned that $650 million dollars in bonds for the CERI project would be jeopardized if the City did not sign the contract with ECO-HUB by last Thanksgiving and that it would be nearly impossible to win the DOE grant without the centerpiece of the project being finalized.
The City of Houston lost out on the DOE grant.
The ECO-HUB project was touted as a way to save Houston taxpayers 25 to 40 million dollars a year by mixing all trash and recyclables in just one bin, cutting the number of needed garbage trucks by two thirds, and ending the need for landfills. The waste would instead be separated and then resold into new products.
That was the idea.
ECO-HUB had been unanimously chosen by a nine-member evaluation committee during the Parker administration after the city won a one-million-dollar grant to pursue the idea. Ending the need for dumps seems like a green friendly idea, but Mayor Turner dumped ECO-HUB instead.
Last week the Mayor picked a European company to recycle Houston’s trash the old-fashioned way starting next year. The contract won’t save money, it will cost millions. Up until last Spring, Houstonians weren’t charged a penny for recycling.
Now we are beginning to see how much that recycling decision really is costing Houston’s economy, and how much explaining the Mayor should be doing.
We asked Mayor Turner to respond to the letter the professor told CERI partners he had sent him. City Hall ignored our request for answers, just like they did the bid protest filed by ECOHUB last December.
Tens of thousands of Houstonians have now watched Mayor Sylvester Turner lose his cool when questioned about the City of Houston’s new recycling deal.
No wonder there are questions.
The City of Houston was in the final negotiations on a contract with a Houston company that could have saved Houstonians 25 to 40 million dollars a year on recycling and ended the need for expensive landfills. Turner killed the deal and now wants a much more expensive contract with a European company.
Now the Chairman of the Houston company Eco-Hub wants investigations into possible bid rigging and ethics violations. At a Wednesday morning news conference, George Gitschel released a letter to the City Controller, Chris Brown requesting the probe.
The City Attorney ignored a bid protest from Eco-Hub filed in December of 2016, but used the corruption complaint to keep secret e-mails sent or received by Houston Solid Waste Boss Harry Hayes. Mr. Gitschel claims Hayes fought Eco-Hub to protect Republic Waste and their lucrative landfill contract.
Mr. Gitschel is also pointing a finger at Marvalette Hunter, Mayor Turner’s new Chief of Staff. Gitschel was using Hunter to lobby for his company, but now thinks she was playing him. Hunter never registered to lobby for Eco-Hub, a violation of City Ordinance. Mr. Gitschel is now calling on City Attorney Ron Lewis to probe Hunter’s possible ethics violations and require her to disclose who else she represented before becoming Chief of Staff so that taxpayers see potential conflicts of interest.
Mr. Gitschel wants the City of Houston to release all e-mails sent or received by Solid Waste Boss Harry Hayes. The Mayor has refused to release any e-mails, and not just on the current recycling bidding. The City of Houston won’t release records on Mayor Turner’s deal with Waste Management last year, that ended free recycling for Houstonians.
Mr. Gitschel is also calling on the European company FCC to disclose the names of any Houston based consultants or companies being hired as part of the recycling contract. If City Council approves the controversial new recycling deal, FCC stands to make more than 50 million dollars.
The City of Houston was awarded a one-million-dollar prize from the Bloomberg Foundation for the Eco-Hub idea. The company proposed reducing garbage trucks route from three to one and putting all trash and recycling in just one bin. The company would then sell the recycling materials for new products. Eco-Hub claimed the state of the art recycling facilities it would build would eliminate the need for landfills. Mr. Gitschel says that threatens the garbage industry. Houston has become a big headquarters for the trash industry.
Two months ago, Houston television personality Wayne Dolcefino was seriously injured in a head-on car collision on Highway 87 near Brady, Texas.
Now the Crosley Law Firm has begun the legal effort to recover damages for the serious and permanent injuries suffered by the long-time investigative reporter. A lawsuit has been filed Friday in Travis County against the driver ticketed in the crash and against AT&T, the company he works for.
“This accident is the result of gross negligence, and AT&T, through its employee, has refused to cooperate in our investigation,” says Tom Crosley. “Anyone who knows Wayne Dolcefino knows that he will fight for the truth. We are 100% committed to helping him during this process.”
Dolcefino suffered multiple fractures and head injuries in the accident, and faces his latest surgery two days after the Fourth of July Holiday.
Dolcefino has been in a wheelchair since the accident.
Dolcefino was highly decorated as an investigative reporter with KTRK TV in Houston. Since 2012 he has been operating a successful crisis management and investigative communications firm.
Tom Crosley is available for media interviews at email@example.com.
Wayne Dolcefino is available for media interviews at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sylvester Turner has some explaining to do…
In 2013, the city of Houston unveiled a prestigious million dollar grant to work toward collecting all your trash and recycling and remake much of it into brand new products. The city spent years trying to finalize a deal. Then it fell apart and it’s incredibly tough to figure out why. READ THE REST