You got to love HCC. A swamp that keeps giving.
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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.”
Does Houston Community College (HCC) Board Member Adriana Tamez actually live in the house she claims? Taxpayers deserve an answer.
We are waiting for answers.
Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg is now hiding answers too.
The DA’s Public Integrity Unit claims a complaint filed by Dolcefino Consulting against Tamez is unfounded. Kim Ogg claims the Unit did a thorough investigation.
Dolcefino Consulting is calling them out.
Did they even talk to Tamez? Did they review days of hidden camera video?
WE WANT THE TRUTH.
Maybe it’s not against the law anymore to live outside the neighborhoods you are supposed to represent. Maybe the sworn affidavit Tamez signed in 2015 doesn’t matter.
“Ms. Tamez has refused to tell voters where she lives,” says Wayne Dolcefino, President of Dolcefino Consulting, “If our video is an illusion, she should issue a statement about where she lives. District Attorney Kim Ogg has given the HCC cesspool the license to ignore the rights of voters. Shame.”
The DA letter to Tamez was shared with board members by one of their high-priced lawyers.
Taxpayers paid for that too.
DA Kim Ogg should recuse office
Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg remains silent on Mayor Sylvester Turner’s illegal withholding of city e-mails sent on a private server. She has ignored our request for an interview.
“The idea that the District Attorney hasn’t already picked up the phone and told the Mayor to release the e-mails he is hiding is sad,” says Wayne Dolcefino, President of Dolcefino Consulting. “The silence from Ms. Ogg is deafening. Taxpayers are watching. Mr. Turner is routinely conducting city business on an outside e-mail server and he’s hiding them.”
Dolcefino Consulting has filed a formal criminal complaint that Turner is hiding e-mail communications with Maya Ford, the Mayor’s goddaughter. Ford started a media firm called Ford Momentum, three days before Turner got elected and got a number of City Government related contracts. Ford also detailed allegations of ethical misconduct by the City Garbage Director in e-mails to the Mayor.
The Harris County District Attorney’s Office is already said to be reviewing the misuse of city e-mails by the now former Press Secretary, Darian Ward.
“It personally pains me to call her out. It is now time for Ms. Ogg to recuse her office and select a Special Prosecutor to investigate the transparency violations at City Hall,” says Dolcefino.
At least some of the e-mails the Mayor is hiding concern the scandal plagued recycling contract, won by Spanish Company, FCC. One of the biggest owners of FCC is George Soros, whose Political Action Committee contributed $250,000 to the Ogg campaign. Ogg has recused her office in other cases with much smaller political contributions involved.
“As someone who worked to helped get Ms. Ogg elected, I am personally and professionally disappointed she hasn’t lifted a finger to get City Hall to follow the law, Dolcefino said. “I have zero confidence, and I mean zero confidence in the Public Integrity Unit.
Some of the e-mails the City is illegally withholding have been kept from the public for more than a year. The Mayor has ignored repeated requests to let the sunshine in.
Adriana Tamez is a District Trustee on the scandal plagued Houston Community College System. She is elected to represent particular neighborhoods in Southeast Houston District 3.
That’s why it SHOULD matter where she actually lives.
In early December, Dolcefino Consulting filed a criminal complaint with Kim Ogg’s office after verifying allegations Trustee Tamez was actually living in a high rise on Allen Parkway, outside the District she was elected to represent. The video evidence raised serious questions about a 2015 sworn affidavit Tamez signed when she ran for office.
We turned over video surveillance footage, utility records, marriage license application and a sworn affidavit from an employee of Dolcefino Consulting, who supervised the surveillance on Ms. Tamez. The DA’s office acknowledged our complaint by letter and never called us once to discuss it, even to question how we did the surveillance, or found the records.
After just six weeks, which included the long Christmas Holiday, the Chief of the Public Integrity Unit sent us a letter saying there was “insufficient evidence” for perjury or aggravated perjury charges, ignoring the question of where Tamez lives. There would be no grand jury. No strong message that it matters where you live.
Then HCC, through their expensive lawyers, shared with the HCC Board a totally different letter sent to Tamez from Integrity Chief Paula Hartman.
“After a THOROUGH review we find the allegation UNFOUNDED.
“I supervised the surveillance of Ms. Tamez and now demand to see this “thorough” investigation released to the public, says Wayne Dolcefino, President of Dolcefino Consulting. “The Kim Ogg I know promised to take these kinds of cases to a grand jury. Now that her office has attacked the credibility of our complaint, let’s see what the DA’s office bothered to do before clearing this Democratic office holder.”
“I am ready to go the grand jury tomorrow and testify under oath. How about it Ms. Tamez, why don’t you come too, and tell the grand jury where you live”, says Dolcefino. “In the meantime, I challenge Tamez to look her constituents in the eye and tell them where she actually lives.”
HCC trustees have refused to investigate where Tamez lives. The District Attorney has now given them political cover to keep failing in their jobs to protect voters.
We are not surprised.
“A federal judge recently called HCC a cesspool. She was dead on. It is a government agency controlled by a political action committee that wants to make sure Adrian Tamez is there voting their way. It is shameful,” says Dolcefino. “It is more shameful that a Public Integrity Prosecutor would give them cover like this.”
Last week, the HCC Board voted to censure Trustee Dave Wilson, in part for hiring our firm to investigate the waste of taxpayer’s money at HCC. The investigation exposed rampant conflicts of interest and a gravy train for lawyers, but it also verified Wilson’s allegations that Tamez did not live where her sworn affidavit says she lives, certainly not now.
“If it doesn’t matter where politicians live, then let’s just say so. Folks from Kingwood can represent the third ward, and the West side can be represented by a guy who lives in Southeast Houston,” says Dolcefino. “Why don’t we stop pretending these sworn campaign statements mean anything.”
Dolcefino Consulting has also filed a criminal complaint in recent days against Mayor Sylvester Turner, who has been using a law firm server to conduct city business. Ogg has been silent. Instead, she should have already subpoenaed the records if the Mayor won’t turn them over.
Public Integrity matters, at least it should.District Attorney Correspondence re Tamez Complaint
A formal investigation of the Houston Community College recommends a criminal probe of at least one sitting Houston Community College Board Trustee, and recommends an axe be taken to exorbitant legal fees.
Dolcefino Consulting was hired in July by independently elected Board Member Dave Wilson to begin a review of HCC ethical practices.
“While we were working, HCC has already blown more than a quarter of a million dollars investigating itself, again,” says Wayne Dolcefino, President of Dolcefino Consulting. “In typical HCC fashion the taxpayers don’t have a clue what they have done. It’s a swamp Washington would be proud of.”
Wednesday morning, HCC Trustee Dave Wilson was joined by Dolcefino to publicly release the first report and recommendations for an ethical cleaning of the tarnished education institution.
“We have spent a lot of time fighting with the Houston Community College over records. They don’t want you to see the truth, cuz it is ugly,” says Dolcefino. “We decided it was time to go public. Some of the fixes would be obvious to a kindergarten student.”
“I have paid for this review out of my own money because I respect being a public servant,” says Wilson. “HCC will remain a sick institution if we do not find our ethical compass. I am just one vote, but I promise to be a loud one for transparency and accountability.”HCC_REPORT
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.