A message to the sacred cow
“Let me make this as clear as I can make it. We will not be bullied by the rodeo. They are not a sacred cow.”
That was the message delivered at a press conference on the steps of the Harris County Civil Courthouse this morning by Wayne Dolcefino, President of Dolcefino Consulting.
Dolcefino and his attorney, Jeff Diamant announced major legal action against the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
The legal action alleges the Rodeo is now in violation of felony criminal laws for attempting to silence our right to look at their charity records under state law. It will be followed by a motion pursuant to the Texas Citizens’ Participation Act (a/k/a the anti-SLAPP Statute), which protects free speech in Texas, seeking dismissal of the Rodeo’s lawsuit brought against Dolcefino Consulting. The legal action, filed today, will seek legal fees and punitive damages.
This fight began when Dolcefino requested charity financial records from the quarter of a billion-dollar rodeo empire, as part of an ongoing investigation into the rape of a young woman at a Los Vaqueros trail ride event. First, the rodeo tried a suit against the rape victim and Dolcefino but was not permitted to do so by the Court. Then they filed a new legal action against Dolcefino Consulting, seeking, among other things, monetary damages from Dolcefino.
“If you’re going to act as a charity, and seek the protections afforded to you under Texas and Federal law to be a charity, then you are responsible, and you have to be accountable as any other charity is,” said Jeff Diamant, Dolcefino Consulting’s counsel. “The Rodeo doesn’t seem to want to play by those rules, all we’re asking is that they play by those rules and that they have the repercussions from not playing by them.”
“I began this effort to try and help a rape victim,” says Dolcefino, “And the rodeo has come after me with everything they have. Shame on them. Houstonians, the volunteers, the donors, the people who pay a lot of money to go to this party once a year ought to send a message to the rodeo.”
The lawsuit is filed in Judge Michael Landrum’s Harris County 113th District Court.08202018 D's Original Answer and Counterclaims_DOLCEFINO
There’s no shame in getting fleeced by the biggest thief in U.S. history. There’s a lot of shame in trying to cover it up.
Texas Tech is now guilty of just that. And they are willing to use school funds that should educate Texas kids, to fight to keep their financial disaster a secret instead.
Tech donors may have been kept in the dark all along.
In 2002, Tech invested in Ariel Fund Limited, an offshore fund managed by Gabriel Capital Corporation, an investment advisory firm. Gabriel Capital turned around and plunked a chunk of Tech’s money with Madoff. Together, Gabriel and Ariel lost around $1 billion to Madoff’s scheme.
How much did the state university lose?
Get this, a full nine years after the money disappeared, the state university thinks no one needs to how much of Red Raider money they lost.
Wait till you hear what their using as their excuse not to come clean.
Tech now wants the Texas Attorney General to give them permission to hide their Bernie Madoff problem because of football Coach Mike Leach.
Their legal argument. Texas Tech wants to hide the details of their Bernie Madoff problem because we are suing the school over records proving the conspiracy to cheat Mike Leach.
The timing of the Bernie Madoff loss may be interesting to Coach Leach fans.
Tech found out just how much money they lost in 2009, just about the time they started plotting to fire Coach Leach and then cheated him out of $2.5 million dollars.
“Aha, I get it, Tech cheated Mike Leach out of his contract to cut their losses to Bernie Madoff,” says Wayne Dolcefino, President of the Houston based Investigative Communications Firm Dolcefino Consulting. “Maybe they learned from Bernie how to cheat the Coach. Every day we uncover more secrets being kept from Red Raiders by the school. It needs to stop.”
It’s impossible to know exactly how much Texas Tech lost with Bernie Madoff. The receiver appointed to get some of the money back has helped get back $14,358.387 to the school, so imagine how much Tech must have lost.
It’s no secret that Dolcefino Consulting is now involved in litigation with Texas Tech, seeking records behind Coach Leach’s firing.
Tech’s secrets are adding up.
They don’t want to give up records detailing their scandalous firing of Coach Leach. They are trying to hide records of sexual incidents on campus. And now they want to hide their Bernie Madoff losses.
The Regents at Texas Tech need to get a handle on this growing scandal. If not, the legislature should.
If the Colorado Division of Securities ever investigated itself, Commissioner Gerald Rome should have to explain why they aren’t carrying out a “pump and dump” scheme on Colorado fraud victims.
Rome polices Colorado’s financial world. He pumps up his successes, but now tries to hide information from the public, bullies’ people who ask questions, and by all appearances gets a tiny return for his main investors: the Colorado taxpayers.
Dolcefino Consulting has been investigating Rome and the Colorado securities agency for over a year. Since 2011, official records show a truly dismal collection rate from fraud cases. Only $3 million of the $122 million dollars that was supposed to go to fraud victims —orders bragged about in an endless parade of press releases noted carefully by the Colorado media.
Scammer Michael Brian Kass is the perfect example.
Kass and Bela Geczy’s front company, Dharma Investments, didn’t live up to its Boulder-friendly, good vibey namesake. The Ponzi scheme took nearly 300 investors for over $18 million before the Division of Securities filed suit against its owners. Kass only did two and a half years of a ten-year sentence and is now on parole marketing himself on the internet as a Life Coach.
So, what happened to the all that money Kass and Geczy had to pay back? Has Rome done a thing to help folks get their restitution?
A judge ordered $11.4 million to be paid in restitution in the criminal case against Kass and Geczy. In the civil case, the Denver District Court appointed a receiver, John C. Smiley, who billed nearly $500,000 on the case.
Kass and Geczy only returned a small fraction of the money spent chasing them. Just $68,000. Victims like Francoise Netter get an occasional six-dollar check.
“I probably will be dead before it all comes back,” said Netter. “I will be long dead before it all comes back. At six dollars and twenty-two cents every three months.
Our investigation found this pattern across nearly all of Rome’s highest-value judgements.
Taxpayers beware. If a NASDAQ company posted percentages like Rome’s it would make the Wall Street Journal’s front page. The Division of Securities soaks up $3.5 million a year and spends nearly $1 million a year prosecuting fraud cases. Add in a taxpayer-funded jail sentence and you have to wonder of a six-dollar victim check is worth the millions of public dollars the Division of Securities costs.
From the information we’ve been given, Rome’s office dumps the case once it gets a judgement. There is not a single e-mail we found showing Rome ever communicated with the Colorado Collections Services, county court collections investigators, or fraud victims to make sure they got their money back.
Dolcefino Consulting has tried to find out more about Rome’s operations, but the public agency has put up a brick wall of silence. As reported by the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition, Rome refused to give up public records unless Dolcefino told Rome who we work for – a clear violation of the Colorado Open Records Act, which President Wayne Dolcefino filed a lawsuit over.
In a post-Bernie Madoff world, citizens like to know someone is angling for the business world’s great white-collar sharks.
Catching them is just part of the job. Remembering the victims is the biggest part.
Texas parents will spend about $100,000 dollars to send their kids for a college education at Texas Tech in Lubbock.
A lot of that money goes to pay the folks who work there. Texas Tech is a state university, so the salary figures are public record.
You know who makes the most money at Tech? Not the Chancellor Robert Duncan, although his $513,000 base salary isn’t chump change.
The highest paid employee is Head Football Coach Kliff Kingsbury at $3.7 million dollars a year.
There are associate professors making more than $300,000 a year, and some professors making more than $400,000 a year. Wonder how many classes they teach?
That’s a lot of money!
Want to see where all this money is going at Texas Tech?
Using that $100,000 number, we asked for a list of all employees at Tech and the Texas Tech System who made $100,000 or more under the Texas Public Information Act. The list includes our friend Ronny Wall, the Associate General Counsel at Tech who has waged a fight to make records about the Coach Mike Leach firing some kind of state secret.
What’s he hiding?
We looked at Tech’s payroll because Mike Leach is still waiting for his paycheck. It’s been nearly a decade since the school fired him and cheated him out of $2.5 million dollars. With interest, it’s about $5 million now. Tech ignored a perfect chance to pay him back in July. Fans waited hours to get Leach to sign books at a Lubbock Barnes and Noble store.
We have posted the salary records on our website, dolcefino.com/texastech. There you can see all the numbers sorted by department, position and compensation.
You should see the names and numbers. It’s your money.
Houston firefighters are being dealt some much-needed financial support for the sacrifices they make for us every single day.
On August 25th, Houston’s premiere poker playing private club will hold a special tournament to help raise money for sick, injured and fallen firefighters and their families.
“We are honored to play some poker and raise money for a charity that cares for our firefighters all at the same time’, says Dean Maddox of Prime Social. “This is just the beginning of our contributions back to a City we all love. We want to show our Houston heroes that we honor their hard work.”
The charity freeze-out tournament at Prime Social at 7801 Westheimer will include a $100 donation to Firefighters Helping Firefighters for each entry, up to $5,000. The tournament begins at high noon on August 25th, 2018.
Prime Social plans a similar charity fundraiser soon for Houston police, part of a commitment from Houston’s new private club poker hot spot to give back.
Let’s deal some winning hands for Houston firefighters!
Truth does not equal a frothy, rage-baiting narrative. Guess we know which reporter Kate Kelly and The New York Times prefers.
The New York Times owes an apology to Javier Palomarez, the former President of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
In February 2018, The New York Times headlines helped force Palomarez out of his job as president of the chamber. The Times’s Kate Kelly reported the chamber was investigating Palomarez for alleged embezzlement and sexual harassment of one female employee five years earlier.
Social media lit up over the story with the #MeToo moniker, but the chamber itself cleared Palomarez of the embezzlement charges only days after Kelly’s article. The one woman who complained on Palomarez stayed with the Chamber five years longer, and only complained after she was fired.
In fact, the chamber found more than just innocence on the embezzlement charges. It found victimhood. Chamber records prove Palomarez’s boss, Nina Vaca, made the charges.
In response, Javier Palomarez filed in June a 50-million-dollar lawsuit against Nina Vaca for conspiracy, defamation, and emotional distress. Vaca was Palomarez’s boss as chairwoman of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation. She was also his one-time lover.
Palomarez says Vaca orchestrated a two-year vendetta against him after he ended an extramarital affair with her. Eyewitness affidavits attached to the lawsuit show a rare but clear example of sexual harassment and retaliation by a female boss.
The facts are clear for anyone willing to look, but it seems Palomarez’s story muddies up the #MeToo narrative too much for the Times to pay attention to his status as a victim of sexual harassment and retaliation.
The Times had every chance to report the tables turning but never took one.
Weeks before Palomarez filed his lawsuit against Vaca, The New York Times was offered sworn affidavits from eyewitnesses to Vaca’s affair and ensuing vendetta. The weekend before the lawsuit was filed, Kelly herself was offered an exclusive interview with Palomarez, but turned it down.
“Kate Kelly and The New York Times publicly shamed Javier Palomarez based solely on allegations made by Nina Vaca and spread by her liberal friends to the national media. They had an ethical obligation to let him tell his story, especially after he filed a public lawsuit with sworn testimony,” says Wayne Dolcefino, President of Dolcefino Consulting, the Houston-based investigative communications firm. “They just ignored it. Guess it doesn’t fit the narrative.”
Dolcefino, a veteran investigative reporter with 30 Emmys to his name, expressed journalistic shock that Kelly wouldn’t even give Palomarez a chance to clear his name. Kelly gave the kind of response we’d expect from a Harvey Weinstein protégé who didn’t get a callback for a role.
“I am sorry you are disappointed.”
We should all be disappointed. That’s why we are crying foul and calling out Kelly by name. This behavior is the kind that erodes trust in media.
Journalists should follow stories where they lead, but The New York Times ignored Palomarez’s lawsuit, the petition, and his own allegations of sexual harassment. Considering the Times shotgunned the issue into the public eye in the first place, this is sloppy journalism at best and outright assassination at worst, and at the hands of a vengeful Vaca.
The Palomarez story should inspire a national conversation. Does the media care at all about sexual harassment and power abuses when the perpetrators are powerful women? Does it care enough to even find out?
Javier Palomarez chose to end his affair with Vaca to save his marriage of 37 years. Then he paid the price with a scorned boss’s allegations. That story ought to sound familiar – something like it allegedly happened to dozens of women The New York Times reported on as part of the #MeToo movement. Then it was news, but when Javier Palomarez makes similar claims, under oath, it’s not worth the time.
Had the Palomarez-Vaca saga been flipped, it would be front page news for The New York Times.
The New York Times can’t afford to see exposes as a waste of ink just because male victims screw up a popular, subscription-selling narrative. Palomarez and the public are owed better.
Woodlands attorney Mary Van Orman has an interesting week ahead of her.
The fun will really get started Wednesday. There’s a hearing in the highly contentious divorce between Sherry and Marek Menger.
Van Orman will be in front of Judge Lisa Millard asking for a new trial for her client, Marek Menger. Van Orman has argued she needs a new trial, in part, because she could not attend the final hearing in the divorce case back on February 27, 2018 even though she argued by phone.
Van Orman claimed she couldn’t attend the hearing because she was in trial in a child custody case in Montgomery County in Judge Tracey Gilbert’s court. Court records show that wasn’t true.
In a recent post on her personal Facebook page, Judge Lisa Millard said, “Harris County deserves judges who are respected, experienced, fair, impartial, faithful to the constitution and dedicated to justice under the law.” On Wednesday, Judge Millard has an opportunity to continue to be that kind of judge for the people of Harris County. Mary Van Orman’s stall game in the Menger divorce case has gone on long enough and Judge Millard should put a stop to the nonsense. If she doesn’t, voters can end the stall game at the polls in November.
Then there’s Thursday, when Van Orman gets a return to Judge Gilbert’s Montgomery County courtroom to explain why she has ignored his orders in another legal circus.
Van Orman was ordered to write a big check and make an apology to Conroe attorney Katherine Bihm for unprofessional, bizarre behavior in and out of the courtroom. Judge Gilbert issued the punishment more than a month ago.
Should be fun to see what he will do now that Van Orman has essentially told him to buzz off.
Van Orman faces jail time.
In our view, she’s a mess.
State District Judge Michael Landrum said no when Post Oak Poker Club tried to get him to close us down, denying a request Thursday for a temporary injunction.
Prime Social Attorney Steve Grossman argued Post Oak just wants to get rid of the competition.
“We believe that this was a competitor who was trying to use the court system to try to shut us down, so they wouldn’t have the competition from somebody who’s doing a very good job,” says Grossman.
The lawsuit by Post Oak Social had complained they are losing employees, kitchen staff, and more than 100 poker players to Prime Social, quickly becoming a private club hot spot on Westheimer for poker, sports and food. Post Oak even complained attractive women had come into their club and convinced poker players it was more fun at Prime Social.
Post Oak has a license to operating random gaming machines at their place and tried to convince the Judge Prime Social should be closed because they don’t have that license, even though we do have plenty of tables to play our favorite game. The city of Houston hasn’t told any of the dozens of poker clubs opened around town they even need a license.
“We appreciate the Judge’s ruling and we work hard every day to make Prime Social a great place to legally play poker, watch sports and enjoy a great new entertainment venue for Houstonians,” says Dean Maddox of Prime Social.
The divorce case of Mindy and Allan Comstock in Galveston is already contentious, but now there are real questions about why Friendswood Police seized Mindy’s kids from her house late in the evening without having a court order to do it.
Mindy Comstock had been ordered to jail by Judge John Grady for refusing to turn her kids over to her husband, but the court issued no order to send police to her home to seize the kids.
The teenagers aren’t being given a vote in court about who they live with, but that is now overshadowed by the conduct of Friendswood Police later that evening.
Three Friendswood Police officers handcuffed a 78- year grandfather with a heart condition and literally went upstairs with flashlights at nearly 11:00 PM to get the teenagers out of bed.
There’s another wrinkle. The father fighting for custody in court is a Houston Police SWAT Officer and was reportedly at the scene when the Friendswood cops showed up at mom’s house.
“I have been asking Friendswood Police all day who gave them the legal authority to go to that house they and take custody of the children, and the answer seems to a big who knows,” says Wayne Dolcefino, President of Dolcefino Consulting, “If this turns out to be a favor done because daddy has a badge, that is just wrong.”
“There was no need to remove them at 11 o’clock at night,” says Mindy Comstock, now out of jail on contempt. “The kids were screaming and crying when they were removed from their bedrooms, especially when they saw their ill grandfather handcuffed.”
Comstock had not been charged with kidnapping the kids, just not returning them to her husband because they told her they didn’t want to go.
The late- night Friendswood Police Department raid happened hours after Dolcefino Consulting reported the Galveston County District Attorney had received a complaint about Officer Comstock and alleged credit card fraud.
Mindy Comstock’s parents have signed sworn affidavits claiming the HPD officer illegally charged $70,000 on their credit cards, including spending money on dating sites, without their knowledge.
Comstock had earlier complained to the Houston Police Departments Internal Affairs Department about the credit card issues and assorted pictures she found, but none of her complaints were sustained. Comstock hopes her case will make other women with law enforcement husbands come forward to complain.
“Even if you are the little guy, even if you are the woman married to the big police officer, you have to make your own justice,” says Comstock.
“I have asked the Friendswood Police now for body camera footage and dispatch records,” says Dolcefino, “I expect it turned over immediately.”
Attorneys for Prime Social Poker club have a date in court Thursday afternoon.
The founder of the Post Oak Poker Club are suing us, and when you hear why, you might start calling this ‘the sore loser’ case.
A lot of the folks who used to play at Post Oak have now taken their chips to our place at 7801 Westheimer and Post Oak isn’t happy.
The lawsuit details our alleged conspiracy to “hire attractive women who have convinced players at Post Oak to switch their membership to Prime Social. Post Oak admits they have lost 100 players.
Prime Social admits it likes to have employees who are attractive inside and out.
Post Oak has also lost poker dealers, and even some of their kitchen staff.
“You can’t just sue your competition because they’re providing better service,” says Prime Social founder Dean Maddox, “We do not apologize for having a safe, fun place to play poker, watch sports and have great food and drinks.”
Post Oak founder Daniel Kebort also complains Prime Social doesn’t have a game room permit. One problem, the game room permit is for 8-liners and that’s not we do. We play poker on tables.
Prime Social makes playing your favorite game really simple.
Folks join our private club, pay a small entrance fee and then rent a seat at a poker table. We do not take a dime out of the pot, which means Houstonians don’t have to go to dangerous smoke-filled back rooms to play poker where the players get cheated by the dealer.
The poker war hearing is set for Thursday, August 2, 2018 at 2 pm in Judge Michael Landrum’s 113th District Court.
Prime Social and our attorneys will be available for interviews after the hearing.
“We have made it clear we will run our private poker club by the book,” says Maddox. “We love that we are becoming a great social destination. It is sad that Post Oak is choosing to use the court system instead of just making their own poker room worth playing at.”