Mayor Sylvester Turner has now doubled down on secrecy, fighting a Judge’s order to turn over e-mails about a controversial recycling contract
The City Legal Department filed a notice of appeal late Thursday, clearly trying to hide the records until the 37-million-dollar contract with FCC is voted on by Houston City Council sometime next month.
‘The Mayor is showing his true colors. If this 20-year contract is such a great deal for Houstonians, let’s see the records”, says Wayne Dolcefino, President of Dolcefino Consulting. The Houston based Investigative Communications Firm sued the City to release records.
‘Every voter should be outraged. He’s spending your tax money to hide e-mails sent on computers you paid for, written by people who work for you”, says Dolcefino. “Maybe the Mayor has forgot who he works for.” Shameful.”
The recycling contract has stirred dramatic showdowns at Houston City Hall. A growing number of councilmen are saying they would support delaying the contract until the documents are released.
Dolcefino Consulting was hired to investigate and expose possible bid-rigging for this new contract. E-mails already show Mayor Turner and Solid Waste Boss Harry Hayes led an effort to make sure Ecohub couldn’t win the contract if they tried to bid. Ecohub was in the final stages of negotiating its own contract with the City before Turner came into office.
EcoHub had private money to build an 800 million-dollar plant that would have employed hundreds of Houstonians. The company wanted Houston’s garbage to recycle into new products, saving up to 40 million dollars a year by using just One Bin. Ecohub had even offered to share profits with the City to help pay for Hurricane Harvey cleanup and critical needs in the Houston Fire Department.
Instead, the Mayor killed the deal, kept Ecohub in the dark while bidding a new deal. The Mayor wants FCC to win the contract, a Spanish company owned in part by Democratic financier George Soros.
No word on when the appeal will be heard.
Dolcefino and Ecohub are being represented by Attorney Stewart Hoffer, of the law firm Hicks-Thomas.
“We know the City has been illegally keeping public records a secret, sometimes ignoring requests for months, says Dolcefino.
The vote on the FCC Contract is scheduled for January 3, 2018.
Dolcefino is available for interviews on Friday, December 21, 2017.