Judge Bill Sowder has sent a message to Texas Tech that Dolcefino Consulting’s lawsuit will move forward in his court.
In his message Judge Sowder writes, “In addition, it appears to the Court that the issues of what to produce and how much to charge for production are not difficult matters and the Court expects reasonableness as opposed to nitpicking to control the ins and outs of this case.”
Earlier this month, attorneys for Texas Tech and the Texas Attorney General’s Office tried to claim the request for the completed investigation into the firing of Coach Mike Leach wasn’t provided because the investigation was interrupted. Judge Sowder called that wordsmithing.
“Finally we have a real chance to finally expose Texas Tech’s scheme to cheat Mike Leach, and then show Red Raiders the sham investigation used to get rid of the Coach,” says Wayne Dolcefino, President of Dolcefino Consulting. “Tech is also hiding reports of sexual incidents on campus, payments to companies from the football team, and trying play games to keep us from seeing phone records and e-mails of Regents.”
Tech has tried all kinds of ways to keep public records secret including bogus and illegal charges for production.
“It is sad the Regents have not seen the value of restoring the school’s tarnished reputation,” says Dolcefino, “Paying the Coach what they owe him to erase the stain of dishonesty and remove the curse that many believe plagued the Tech football team. I stand ready to help them close this chapter. I also stand ready to expose all the secrets at Tech. Their choice.”
— Wayne Dolcefino (@WayneDolcefino) May 24, 2018
The new leadership at Houston First promised us more transparency. There should be. After all, Houston’s tourism office has become one of the biggest bureaucracies in town.
Unfortunately, Bobby Singh didn’t get the memo. Too bad.
Monday, May 14th, Dolcefino Consulting filed a criminal complaint against Singh for illegally withholding public records. We want him prosecuted.
In March, Dolcefino Consulting asked for detailed phone records of Trustee Bobby Singh as part of a widening investigation into spending and conflicts of interest at Houston First
Houston First claimed they didn’t have any Singh phone records and they had asked him to produce what he had. Singh ignored it. He also ignored a direct request to him
“It’s time to shine a light on the dealings of Houston First,” said Wayne Dolcefino, President of Dolcefino Consulting, “The leadership is accountable to the residents of the City of Houston. And if Mr. Singh doesn’t want to follow the law, perhaps he should resign and let someone who does believe in transparency get the job instead.”
Singh is a founding member of Isani Consultants, a Houston based firm that provides the engineering design, construction management and inspection services for public and private sector projects.
According to statute, the District Attorney’s office has 30 days to respond to our criminal complaint.
“Based on her past conduct I have little faith the District Attorney is serious about enforcing transparency laws, but Mr. Singh must follow the law. The public has a right to know who he talks to about public business. Period,” says Dolcefino. “Houston First needs a good dose of sunshine. It is coming.”
The Texas Tech Board of Regents are scheduled to meet next week, and Dolcefino Consulting has requested they consider beginning negotiations to pay Mike Leach.
In a letter to Chairman L. Frederick Francis dated May 9, 2018, Wayne Dolcefino, President of Dolcefino Consulting, urged the Regents to “write the last chapter of this unfortunate football divorce.”
“We have in recent weeks, learned a lot about the failings of the process used by Texas Tech in the Coach Leach matter,” wrote Dolcefino, “Every major university in the state has made decisions, right or wrong, to change football coaches. In all, but one case, the schools have worked out a financial settlement.”
Earlier this week the Texas Attorney General’s Office filed an Advisory to the Court on behalf of Texas Tech. It tries to clean up the bad court day Tech had when the Judge told them their arguments in a public records lawsuit filed by Dolcefino Consulting, were wordsmithing and did not the pass the smell test.
“Supporters of Mike Leach talk about a curse on Texas Tech,” wrote Dolcefino, “They say the University is teaching kids a horrible lesson in the way the University has cheated Coach Leach… all that should matter, is ending this horrible chapter and the damage it has done to the legacy of the Red Raider Nation.”
Dolcefino Consulting urges Texas Tech to lift the curse of the pirate, and pay coach Leach.
Fans and alumni can raise their voice by signing the petition at paycoachleach.com.
The Texas Tech Board of Regents is scheduled to meet in Lubbock on Thursday, May 17, and Friday, May 18, 2018.
We promised to keep you updated on Dolcefino Consulting’s public records court fight with Texas Tech.
Dolcefino filed suit in January after Texas Tech failed to produce documents related to several requests for open records, including documents never released in the Coach Mike Leach Investigation.
The winningest coach in school history was fired in December 2009, kept from leading his team in a bowl game, and the University refused to pay him $2.5 million dollars they owed.
Embedded below is an Advisory to the Court filed by the Texas Attorney General’s Office, on behalf of Texas Tech. It tries to clean up the bad court day Tech had when the Judge told them their arguments were wordsmithing and did not the pass the smell test.
If Pinocchio had continued on like this, he would have stayed a donkey, instead of becoming a real boy.
Texas Tech’s Board of Regents are meeting next Thursday and Friday, May 17th and 18th. We will release the letter we sent to the Chairman of the Board of Regents, calling on them to put the Coach Leach payment on the agenda.
Fans and alumni can raise their voice by signing the petition here.
For over a year, The Colorado Securities Commissioner Gerald Rome has been hiding the truth.
Enough is Enough.
Dolcefino Consulting has filed a lawsuit in Denver accusing Commissioner Rome of breaking Colorado open records laws and providing false information about his true success in protecting victims of fraud. We have been investigating the Rome record for over a year. In 2014, Rome bragged to taxpayers about how successful he was in collecting monies owed to taxpayers and victims by some of Colorado’s biggest fraudsters.
Talk is cheap. The truth is a lot uglier.
Since 2011, official records of the Colorado Securities Division show a truly dismal collection rate from fraud cases. 122 million dollars owed to the people of Colorado. A little more than 3 million dollars collected. What’s worse, our investigation has uncovered a bureaucratic nightmare, a systematic failure to properly collect from the crooks.
Rome now claims his office has never even communicated with the Colorado Collections Services – the state’s private collections agency – on any of the cases he prosecuted. Not one.
Rome doesn’t even count what the separate county collections agencies are doing. In fact, based on the few records we have seen, he doesn’t even keep up with their efforts. During review of courthouse records in early May, we asked Jefferson, Boulder, and Denver counties for the balances on several high-dollar fraud cases. We have learned the few documents Rome’s office provided are wrong, but there is one constant. Court collection officers say they aren’t receiving information from the Securities Division that could help find where the money is buried.
In Denver District Court alone, we examined the high-dollar fraud cases of Michael Marshall, Gregory Russell, Sean Michael Mueller, and Michael Mendenhall. Together those four defendants alone owe Colorado taxpayers $90 Million Dollars.
You know how much money has been collected of that ninety million dollars? Ten thousand dollars. Two cases in Boulder revealed the same pattern. Millions owed, pennies collected, in part because no one seems to be sharing information with anyone else.
“The taxpayers of Colorado deserve to know about this systematic failure to get the people the money they were promised,” says Dolcefino. “What makes this worse is that Rome refuses to provide evidence he even bothered to look for the records he now claims he doesn’t have.”
Dolcefino Consulting filed a request in February 2018 asking for documents showing any attempts the division made to communicate with the Colorado Collections Agency. It took the division five hours to respond and say they had nothing to show us, not a single e-mail. What kind of government agency-wide research can YOU get done in five hours? Exactly.
In response to a similar request last August, the division denied us public records unless Dolcefino Consulting identified who we were asking for. We believe that is a violation of the public right to know. It just doesn’t cut the legal mustard to tell a citizen “who wants to know?” You’d think Commissioner Gerald Rome, who used to be First Assistant Attorney General, would know that.
“We look forward to our day in court,” says Dolcefino. “The Colorado legislature should be asking some tough questions too. What’s the point of spending millions of dollars chasing fraudsters, bragging that you won all this money, and then never caring if a dime is collected?Colorado Complaint
The Harris County District Attorney has filed a sealed court motion to recuse her office from further investigation into a Dolcefino Consulting criminal complaint filed against Mayor Turner for hiding e-mails.
Judge David Mendoza, the ethics counsel for Kim Ogg informed us of the decision Thursday.
The reason: Dolcefino Consulting served as Communications Advisors to Ogg in her campaign for District Attorney.
“One of the reasons I wanted to help Ms. Ogg become District Attorney was because of her promise to me to be aggressive on issues of public integrity. If I had known then she would seek to recuse herself from investigations involving my firm I would have told her no,” says Wayne Dolcefino, President of Dolcefino Consulting. “I find it odd that when my office complained on a powerful Democratic politician our Democratic DA got a sudden case of conflict of interest.”
Dolcefino Consulting accused Turner of hiding e-mails with Maya Ford, a virtual goddaughter to Turner, and the beneficiary of consulting contracts since Turner took office. Ogg’s office has been sitting on the complaint for 5 months, and there is no evidence they’ve even asked City Hall to show them the e-mails.
“In my view, the District Attorney is already in violation of the law too, since it required them to respond within a month to our complaint,” says Dolcefino. “Houstonians should be asking some tough questions about public integrity in this town.”
Judge Mendoza says the Turner case also became intertwined with the prosecution of Cypress Creek EMS for violating state charity laws. The Northwest Harris County Ambulance company faces criminal charges stemming from a complaint from Dolcefino Consulting after refusing to turn over payroll records for 911 employees. Ogg has now asked for a special prosecutor to take over that case, even though it has been ongoing since she became District Attorney fifteen months ago.
The FBI is probing possible fraud in the 911 service in ESD #11 and employees of CCEMS recently testified in front of a grand jury.
“It is no secret my office has been highly critical of Ms. Ogg’s alleged office of Public Integrity,” says Dolcefino. “Kim Ogg has now been District Attorney for fifteen months.”
Records obtained by Dolcefino Consulting show Ogg’s office waited five months to tell the Houston Independent School District after we formally complained some Democratic school board members were hiding phone records. By the time HISD turned over the records, the phone records we wanted had been discarded. The DA let them get away with it.
Early this year Ogg’s office falsely claimed our complaint about Democratic HCC Board Member Adriana Tamez was unfounded. Dolcefino Consulting turned over hours of video surveillance and utility records proving Tamez did not live in the District she was elected to represent. The Public Integrity Unit claimed they did a thorough investigation, but refused to turn over records showing the public what they did or didn’t do.
“Our District Attorney has the authority to initiate investigations without a formal complaint, but those are their rules. Now, when my Investigative Communications Firm complains, they play games, and now want to hand off the hot potatoes,” says Dolcefino. “In this town, a growing number of people are hiring us to help get them justice. Ms. Ogg could have chosen to help us clean up the town, but she isn’t.”
It is time to clean up the Harris County Family Courthouse.
Every year, tens of thousands of Houstonians get caught up in Family Injustice, dragged through expensive divorces and child custody cases.
Dolcefino Consulting is showing you the money trail – the financial contributions from divorce lawyers who fund the campaigns of the judges who have the power to take away your kids.
Over the last five years, the family law judges have received millions of dollars in campaign money:
Roy L. Moore
Alicia Franklin York
The total amount of contributions for these judges in the past five years is $3,067,075.39.
“We shouldn’t elect family judges based on political party,” says Dolcefino Consulting President Wayne Dolcefino, “We have created a system that doesn’t pass the smell test. Big contributions from lawyers to judges and big paydays for the lawyers. You do the math.”
You should look at this website before you hire a lawyer, or step in some of the more controversial family law courtrooms.
This is the introduction to our Family Injustice Roadmap on Dolcefino.com
Now you can see where these judges’ money is coming from…
New questions now about the way the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo spends charity money.
Why is the Houston Livestock show investing millions in foreign countries that they could be spending on Texas school kids?
And wait till you see just how little money the kids are really getting.
We all love a good party, and the rodeo is one good party, but they sell themselves as a charity raising money for school scholarships. If you look at their the most recent publicly available tax return, you quickly realize charity is just a fishhook for what may be the biggest concert promotion business in Texas.
The latest mystery at the rodeo
It might seem like a lot of giving– the rodeo gave $15 million in scholarships in 2016.
Dig a little deeper and you will realize the rodeo is good at putting lipstick on a blue-ribbon pig. That $15 million in scholarships is a drop in the rodeo’s cash cow bucket. In the same year, the rodeo made nearly 125 million dollars.
The kids get just pennies on the dollar.
“People are deluded if they think that by going to the rodeo and spending money there they have a lot of money going to the scholarships. It’s only like 10 cents on the dollar,” said Bob Martin, a prominent Houston accountant and tax specialist.
Did you know the rodeo is investing millions of dollars they make from the charity tickets you buy and putting that money in Central America and the Caribbean?
The rest of the rodeo’s money goes exactly where you’d expect a big company’s money to go – the bosses and their lavish office décor.
While the kids are getting pennies of a charity dollar, goodhearted Texans stumble over each other to donate their time to volunteer to work the rodeo. Tens of thousands of volunteers worked for nothing in 2015. Do it long enough and the rodeo might even grace you with a pin!
While charity-minded Texans are working for free, the rodeo pays its top employees millions of dollars a year for a three- week event, including more than $600,000 to president and CEO Joel Cowley.
We know the rodeo is a sacred cow in town, but you know us, we question power.
When Dolcefino Consulting President Wayne Dolcefino worked at Channel 13, General Manager Henry Florsheim spiked a TV station investigation into big spending by rodeo executives. Wayne Dolcefino dared to question the cost of stuff in the rodeo board’s private rooms, including a conference table which cost roughly the same as a new Lexus. Channel 13 didn’t have the guts to do that story, but the Houston Chronicle did. We all remember the headlines.
Did the Rodeo learn anything about real charity?
In that year, the rodeo made $66 million, and gave 17 percent of the money to charity scholarships for Texas kids.
Ten years later. The rodeo made twice as much money, but now only gives ten percent to the kids. The ticket prices sure have gone up too.
The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo sure isn’t hurting for money. In the last publicly available tax return, they claim to have total assets of 257 million dollars. That is a quarter of a billion dollars.
Think of how many more kids from poor Houston neighborhoods the Rodeo could help, if this is really about charity.
Wayne Dolcefino is headed to Lubbock for an important court fight with Texas Tech over the public’s right to know.
Texas Tech University says State District Judge Bill Sowder doesn’t even have the legal right to hear the case because he doesn’t have jurisdiction over the suit.
Dolcefino filed suit in January after Texas Tech failed to produce documents related to several requests for open records, including documents never released in the Mike Leach Investigation.
The winningest coach in school history was fired in December 2009, kept from leading his team in a bowl game, and the University refused to pay him $2.5 million dollars they owed.
Wayne Dolcefino is the long time investigative journalist and President of Houston based Dolcefino Consulting, an investigative communications firm.
Dolcefino is represented by Dallas attorneys Julie Pettit of The Pettit Law Firm, and Michael Hurst from Lynn Pinker Cox Hurst LLP.
“Texas Tech is a state university getting tens of millions of dollars, yet they are now spending school money to fight your right to know,” says Dolcefino, President of Dolcefino Consulting, “Tech is hiding the truth about the conspiracy to fire and cheat Mike Leach and it is time for them to come clean. They should use the school’s money to educate, not fight transparency. What in the world are they hiding from Red Raider fans?”
The hearing is scheduled for 1:30 pm Thursday, May 3 in Judge Bill Sowder’s Courtroom at the Lubbock County Courthouse.
Several employees of Cypress Creek EMS have now testified before a federal grand jury probing the ambulance “charity” that provides 911 service for 600,000 people in northwest Harris County.
You would think the investigation into possible fraud would have the elected members of ESD#11 demanding answers. They were elected to protect your 911 tax money.
Instead your watchdogs are fighting the release of federal grand jury subpoenas that will tell taxpayers what the feds have been investigating for two years.
Cypress Creek EMS started as a volunteer service but is now one of the swollen bureaucracies of fire and ems services spread across Harris County. CCEMS alone has a budget of over 20 million dollars.
News of this major development in the two year-long federal investigation follows another sex harassment scandal involving, CCEMS executive director, Brad England and comes just weeks before two incumbents on the ESD board, Fred Grundemeyer and Josh Fetner, seek re-election.
In the last two years the ESD board has sat silent while CCEMS has refused to tell taxpayers who is on their payroll or justify questionable overtime.
CCEMS has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal bills, mostly fighting our attempts to get financial records, records the ESD commissioners apparently don’t care to see. CCEMS is facing trial on criminal charges of withholding charity records from the public.
Our investigation began with discoveries regarding the CCEMS boss was running up huge tabs with ambulance billing money at an expensive steakhouse. ESD#11 taxpayers currently pay more than nine million dollars in taxes to help subsidize the 911 service. CCEMS is actually allowed to collect all the insurance payments for the government 911 service and keep it all. Then they hit taxpayers up for the rest of what they want.
“Instead of protecting taxpayers, the majority of the ESD#11 board took a pledge of allegiance never to replace CCEMS with another company. Really? The feds have the tape,” says Wayne Dolcefino of Dolcefino Consulting.
“They have attacked us for daring to ask to see the records, instead of worrying what they will show. Any public official who takes a pledge to a contractor should be thrown out of office.“
ESD#11 has asked the Texas attorney general to now hide the contents of their grand jury subpoenas, even though the U.S. attorney’s office and the FBI don’t object to their release. We do know, ESD commissioner campaign records are among the documents handed over after evidence surfaced that CCEMS’ employees helped run the campaigns of three ESD board members who are elected to police CCEMS.
“If that isn’t the fox guarding the henhouse, I am not sure what you call it. Some of the ESD members used to be on the CCEMS board and now police their buddies. Insane,” says Dolcefino.
“If Harris County commissioners want to find money to pay for needed flood control, they should start by dismantling these little empires that sprang up from good intentions,” says Dolcefino. “we have one sheriff’s department, but I bet no one has a clue just how many, so called “volunteer” fire departments and ambulance services we have. Makes for one hell of a lot of chiefs doesn’t it?”
The election for two new ESD commissioners who police Cypress Creek ems is just a few weeks away. For information on polling locations go to the ESD#11 website. In the last election, less than 1 percent of voters showed up.
You get what you vote for folks.
While you are on the website, look at the public agenda and minutes. See if they even ask about the investigations in their public meetings, or if they demand answers and if they tell you what the government is investigating, regardless of the outcome.
At the last ESD#11 meeting the commissioners did talk about the PR firm they have now hired to help them combat bad publicity, to tell the truth they say.
To save you money, dolcefino consulting offered to conduct an unedited interview with ESD#11 president, Tommy Ripley. We would put a copy on dolcefino.com and we would give them a copy. Wouldn’t charge them a dime of your money.
So far crickets. And I’ll do one better. I will open the offer to Josh Fetner and Fred Grundemeyer too. All of you. Let’s have a roundtable broadcast live on Facebook for all the folks to watch.
They will make it hard for a lot of you to protect your money. The election day is different than the runoffs, and a few hundred thousand folks will have to go to a fire station to vote on that, and then another place to vote on 911 officials.
“They like it when you stay home,” says Dolcefino. “I say don’t vote if you like paying all those taxes.”