If you want to know if the lawyer trying to take away your kids in a custody case is a friend of the Judge you need to look at campaign contributions.
The newest reports are now available in our Family Injustice investigation.
We took a closer look at the campaign pay of Judge James Lombardino, under growing fire for family injustice cases.
Lombardino raised nearly $ 50,000 dollars in just six months, a lot of it coming from a fundraiser Dolcefino Consulting secretly filmed at the fancy steakhouse Mastros in Uptown.
The fundraiser was thrown by Jared Woodfill, the former Republican Party Chairman, who practices in Lombardino’s court. Woodfill’s clients have complained about Lombardino and may wonder why their lawyer is trying to get the controversial Judge re-elected anyway.
Lombardino stands apart from most of his peers in the amount of in-kind contributions he’s received, namely fundraisers by family lawyers practicing in his court.
Bobby King Newman has been one of Lombardino’s top donors over the years, giving him tens of thousands of dollars and appearing in many cases in the 308th family court. The relationship has prompted lots of complaints, even among lawyers.
Bobby Newman didn’t donate a single cent this period, but his partner did.
“The latest filings make it clear once again this system of electing Family Court Judges is inherently corrupt”, says Wayne Dolcefino President of Dolcefino Consulting.
“When you are fighting for your child, you shouldn’t have to worry if the Judge owes a favor to the lawyer on the other side, period.”
You should see who is paying the Judge in your divorce or child custody case. It shouldn’t matter, but our investigation shows it does. It might even explain why you are losing.
The new records can be viewed on our Harris County Judge page.
Prime Social has become Houston’s poker hot spot, and it looks like the folks at Post Oak Poker Club are jealous.
But is jealousy the basis of a lawsuit?
Post Oak wants State District Judge Michael Landrum to close Prime Social down, in part because they have hired “attractive women to convince players at Post Oak to switch their membership to Prime Social.”
Post Oak admits in their petition the facts are not fully developed.
How sinister. Post Oak claims they have lost 100 poker players and a lot of their kitchen staff too.
“If the allegation is that we hire attractive women and have better food and a great place for folks to enjoy their favorite game, then I confess,” says Prime Social founder Dean Maddox.
Post Oak also complains Prime Social doesn’t have a game room permit. That may because the City of Houston doesn’t require a permit for a private poker club, and a poker table is not an 8-liner machine.
“The last time I checked this was America”, says Maddox. People have a right to spend their time at places they enjoy being at. Obviously, poker players have made the decision they like coming to Prime Social to play poker, eat great food, watch sports on TV. Sounds like Post Oak is just jealous.”
Prime Social is located at 7801 Westheimer.
The private club doesn’t take a penny from the poker games, just charges private club member of 10 dollars, a small admission fee, and then rents a seat at the poker game of your choice.
Prime Social is available for interviews.
Please call Dolcefino Consulting to arrange.
Secret government maps detail the scary result if an earthen dam in Caldwell County ever breaches.
The projected possible death toll – 318 people.
The maps were obtained by Dolcefino Consulting as part of our widening investigation of Site 21, and the warnings that putting a 17-storey garbage dump next to it has serious risks to life and property.
The TCEQ has approved a permit for the 130-dump operated by controversial trash firm Green Group, ignoring warnings from even the agency own public watchdog the dump next to the dam spells trouble.
The fear is that garbage will blow in and block a critical pipe which helps relieve pressure in flood events.
“In coming days, we will continue to expose what the politicians haven’t told the families at greatest risk”, says Wayne Dolcefino, President of Dolcefino Consulting, the Houston based investigative communications firm that helped defeat another proposed Green Group dump in Waller County near Hempstead. “You don’t have to be an engineer to understand the dumpsite creates a potential danger that voters in Caldwell County have just not been warned about.”
Site 21 is one of 1,364 high hazard dumps in Texas. We have learned TCEQ Commissioners never consulted its own Dam Safety Engineers before approving the Green Group permit.
There are increasing questions the agency set up to protect our environment failed to take Site 21 seriously enough. The last inspection by TCEQ dam safety engineers was in July 2014, three years before the dump was approved.
Also frightening, documents obtained by Dolcefino Consulting show the dam safety program waited a year to even send the results of the inspection to the folks who manage Site 21, the Plum Creek Conservation District. We also know Plum Creek never even responded to State Dam Safety Officials.
The secret government maps are considered a Homeland Security Secret, and we found residents along Alamo Drive who didn’t even know they lived closely downstream from the dam.
“I mean the trash is going to get infected with the water and it is just going to mess up everything for us out here,” said Felix Christian, who lives in the neighborhood south of the dam. “It is going to make us move from a property that we have built up and that we have paid for a minute now and you know we can’t afford that, we can’t afford to go somewhere else and to move on.”
Felix Christian says his neighbors are worried about the dump and what it will do to health and safety. His grandparents built the home he now shares with them.
“Whoever is trying to run the trash, whoever it is, it is not a healthy choice for anybody out there,” said Christian.
Opponents of the dump say the maps show the deadly consequences of the warnings they have been making.
“I was really disappointed in them not even discussing the high hazard dam,” said Frank Shugrue, a longtime opponent of Green Group’s plan. “I mean you heard it there. If it fails, there are lives at stake. And they are going to allow a permit that puts in a landfill upstream of this high hazard dam Site 21 is now being renovated just to come up to the high hazard standards.”
“It is not too late for the TCEQ to rethink this,” says Dolcefino. “The proposed 130 dump is next to a floodplain, virtually on top of an aquifer, and next door to the dam that if breached will inundate thousands of people. Why would the state be willing to take that chance. If something goes wrong, there will be outrage and serous financial consequences.”
Plum Creek Conservation District has the power to block the dump but took a neutral position in the permit fight. The members are appointed by the Caldwell County Commissioners Court, which has voted to stop the legal fight, and offer concessions to Green Group without getting any more environmental protections in return
Stay tuned. We follow the e-mail trail. What we found raises serious questions about Plum Creek’s maintainer of the dam
We have seen troubling e-mails that What we have discovered raises serious questions about Plum Creeks maintenance of the dam.
“The public has been kept in the dark for months by Commissioners Court about the Green Group dump”, says Dolcefino. “It is time for a public hearing to tell people the truth about the potential danger. Anything else is unacceptable. Caldwell County voters elect a new court in November.”
Keep an eye on your electrician.
The billboards are the creation of lifetime Houstonian Scott Van Dyke, who is locked in a big legal battle with the folks who did the repairs on his home after Hurricane Ike.
Not just any home. Van Dyke bought the old MD Anderson mansion in the Museum District.
“I wanted to get the message out that there is a lot going on behind the walls in my opinion that people are not aware of and could come back and either burn down their homes or even kill them,” says Van Dyke.
Lots of Houstonians are complaining about post-hurricane contractors these days. Van Dyke’s case in in the courts, waiting for a decision by the 14th Court of Appeals.
Van Dyke had stopped paying the bills when the cost of the work went way over what he was told it would cost. He got sued by the contractor.
That’s when he first learned a lot of the electrical work didn’t meet code and was dangerous.
The jury in Van Dyke’s case sided with the contractor and ever since Van Dyke has been on a mission, wanting to warn Houstonians to check the work as it’s being done.
The case also has raised questions about possible conflicts of interest.
The contractor fighting Van Dyke paid a member of the City of Houston electric board to help him win the case. The electric board polices fights over electrical work to make sure it’s safe.
“If a person is on the electrical board they should not be allowed to be a paid expert in an electrical lawsuit because the very reason the contractor is hiring him is because of his influence.”
The 14th court of appeals hasn’t ruled yet, but Van Dyke hopes the billboards can save a life.
Dolcefino Consulting is an expanding investigative communications consulting firm, privately funded to expose public corruption, injustice and fraud. The firm also excels in crisis management, reputation management and litigation support.
The Producer of Investigative Media Content will coordinate research of some of these investigations and advocacy projects for production of social media content.
Experience in broadcast journalism or broadcast journalism training is required.
As local newsrooms cut back on Investigative Journalism, an increasing number of people are turning to private firms like Dolcefino Consulting because of their thirst for aggressive pursuit of truth and justice.
The President of Dolcefino Consulting is Wayne Dolcefino, long time investigative reporter for KTRK-TV abc13.
The company’s investigative communication work can be viewed at dolcefino.com.
Dolcefino Consulting offers benefits for employees.
Job Type: Full-time
Salary: $25.00 /hour
Dolcefino Consulting is a Houston based investigative communications firm run by long time award winning journalist Wayne Dolcefino.
The growing company creates a lot of its own content for social media distribution.
Dolcefino Consulting is looking for a full-time video editor, who can also assist with photography and other aspects of social media production.
The successful candidate for this role will preferably have some experience in television broadcast journalism or been a recent graduate in TV production. The candidate will thrive in a fast-paced, constantly evolving environment.
Wayne Dolcefino was the long time investigative reporter for KTRK-TV abc13.
The company’s investigative communication work can be viewed at dolcefino.com.
. Broadcast journalism experience and/or recent graduate in TV production
. Demonstrated leadership ability
. Strong news judgment
. Excellent communication skills
. Has experience creating videos in Final Cut Pro, Avid Media Composer or Adobe Premier Pro.
Job Type: Full-time
Javier Palomarez, the former head of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, has been cleared of any financial wrongdoing.
Now he is speaking out exclusively for the first time since he resigned in February to Dolcefino Consulting, the Texas based Investigative Communications Firm.
“I am a good Texican. I was raised to never start a fight, but I was raised to not walk away from a fight either,”says Palomarez.
Javier Palomarez was the Chief Executive Officer of the nation’s largest Hispanic business advocacy group until February, resigning shortly after media outlets, including Buzz Feed and the New York Times, reported he was under investigation for alleged embezzlement.
Now the rest of the story. Palomarez had been courted to run for Governor of Texas as a Democrat this year, but his political fortunes were derailed after the scandal broke.
Palomarez has been silent since February, even though just hours after the news headlines devastated his reputation, he learned an ad hoc committee of the Chamber had already cleared his name.
“I have been called a lot of things, but I am not a liar and not a thief,” Palomarez says in the interview released on Facebook and to news organizations around the country.
Former Chairman of the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Don Salazar has also broken his silence. In an affidavit obtained by Palomarez’s attorneys. Salazar confirms the whole embezzlement scandal was made up.
“There was never any credible evidence presented to the board to support any such claims or allegations,” swears Salazar.
Marc Rodriguez, a former Chairman of the Hispanic Chamber Board and member of it’s compensation committee, has also provided an affidavit supporting Palomarez.
“The USHCC ultimately cleared Mr. Palomarez of all wrongdoing. He did not embezzle a single penny to my knowledge,” says Rodriguez.
So why did the Hispanic Chamber refuse to clear Palomarez name?
Salazar and Rodriguez lay the blame for the scandal on Nina Vaca, a prominent businesswoman in Dallas who owns Pinnacle, and is Chairwoman of the United States Hispanic Chamber’s foundation.
Palomarez is now publicly discussing his sexual affair with Vaca for the first time, and says the investigation was sparked by her vengeance after he broke off the relationship almost two years ago.
“The only other difficult thing is facing my wife and life partner of 37 years and admitting to her that I failed her,” Palomarez confessed after a difficult conversation with his wife.
I will work the rest of my life to earn her forgiveness. Though, I don’t know that I will ever be able to forgive myself.
Palomarez is now armed with sordid sworn affidavits from eyewitnesses to the affair, along with text messages from Vaca that will prove highly embarrassing.
In one, Vaca tells Palomarez “I fell asleep thinking and wake up thinking about you, and I love you.”
Palomarez has released just some of the text messages, and pictures of lavish gifts Vaca showered him with.
There are also bank records, showing Vaca’s Dallas company paid $120,000 towards his home in the nation’s capital. How will Vaca explain that use of funds?
Palomarez had saved the U.S. Hispanic Chamber from financial ruin when he joined in October of 2009. He had become a major voice for the Hispanic business community in the years since, with a compelling life story,the son of migrant farm workers who grew up in a one room shack with nine siblings to lead the US HispanicChamber of Commerce.
Since his resignation in February, corporate sponsors are reportedly fleeing the Chamber and it is mired in financial problems. The majority of Chamber Board Members and staff members have followed Palomarez out of the door.
“I don’t know if they can ever restore the damage that has been done there, but if I have an opportunity to set the record straight I owe it to my friends, to the people who believed in this association, who believed in me,” says Palomarez.
Vaca and her lawyers have denied the Palomarez affair allegations, but there is little question she orchestrated the move to oust Palomarez without disclosing the depth of her relationship with him.
Palomarez is also fighting back against allegations of sexual harassment. He also fell victim to the #metoomovement, which is now under fire for the lack of due process.
Palomarez’s former Chief of Staff, Gissel Gazek Nicholas, claimed that in 2013, Palomarez tried to kiss her once and touched her back. She waited five years to make the complaint, and only did so after she was Gazek Nicholas claims the alleged attempted kiss was sexual assault, but she hasn’t explained why she stayed another five years, all the while reporting to and travelling with Palomarez around the country.
“It is not true, and even if it was, it does a disservice to the women who actually have been harmed and assaulted,” says Palomarez.
Palomarez resigned to try and save the Chamber from being torn apart by dissension but has now hired Houston based lawyers Chad Pinkerton and Andrew Cobos in the fight to restore his reputation.
“The USHCC, Nina Vaca and their co-conspirators did a horrible disservice to millions of Hispanic Americans,” says Pinkerton. “Revenge destroyed a hard-working advocate for Hispanic Americans, perhaps the nation’s leading voice for his community. We plan to expose this conspiracy, Miss Vaca, and all of her cohorts. They will be shown no mercy. They will be given no quarter.”
A number of corporate executives linked to the Hispanic Chamber have received demand letters and requests for sworn statements, a sign that Palomarez is ready to fight to restore his good name.Compensation Investigation email
Palomarez and Vaca Text Messages
BOARD MEETING MINUTES
Don Salazar Affidavit
Don Salazar Affidavit
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.”
There is no crime at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. None. Nada.
Do you really believe that?
They say numbers don’t lie. But these numbers may be the latest mystery uncovered in a Dolcefino Consulting investigation into the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
The Rodeo is now fighting a civil lawsuit stemming from a rape at a Los Vaqueros Trail Ride event. Houston lawyer Chad Pinkerton wants to know what the rodeo knew and when they knew it.
We were asked to investigate, and using the Texas Public Information Act, we wanted to see if any sex crimes unfolded at this year’s Rodeo…
We didn’t just ask for that. We asked the Houston Police, Harris County Sheriff and the Precinct One Constable to give us any reports, or any incident crime or arrests during the 23-day rodeo at NRG Stadium.
We expected hundreds of reports, after all people drink, sometimes they fight, and lots of cars make appetizing theft targets. Even a purse snatching. Anything.
Now for the mystery. You know how many law enforcement incident reports we got?
Zero. Not a single report of crime in the NRG complex.
“Guess it could be testimony to Texans holding their liquor, but 2.5 million people go to the Rodeo, and there’s nothing,” says Wayne Dolcefino, President of Dolcefino Consulting, “We’ve got a real mystery on our hands.”
We even looked for tickets written for misdemeanor crimes, and we got the records.
It is zero again. Not a single ticket shows up.
It’s why we asked the Rodeo under state charity laws for financial records to see if any top Houston law enforcement officials are on their payroll. After all, maybe they can talk about the web of security that allows 2.5 million people to go an event without a single incident of crime.
That’s a crime fighting strategy the rodeo should sell all over the nation.
But do you believe it’s true? The latest mystery of the rodeo…
There are growing calls tonight for Harris County Family Court Judge James Lombardino to step aside from some of the biggest divorce cases pending in his court.
An investigation by Dolcefino Consulting, that is being released on social media, reveals that the veteran Judge of the 308 th District Court has failed to disclose a serious conflict of interest
with powerful Houston divorce lawyer, Bobby King Newman.
Newman has more than a dozen active divorce cases pending in front of Lombardino, some involving the custody of children. Court documents obtained by the Houston based investigative communications firm also that show the high-price divorce attorney is representing Judge Lombardino’s son David, in his contentious divorce and custody battle.
On the eve of our our broadcasts, at least two Houston attorneys have formally asked Lombardino to recuse himself from divorce cases pending in his court.
In his request for Lombardino’s recusal, Houston attorney Don Robinowitz wrote “Is it worth the risk to the judiciary to have its legitimacy questioned and suffer a loss of public confidence?”
Robinowitz also cited a Texas law which requires that a judge rescue himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality may be reasonably questioned.
“Judge Lombardino had a duty to tell the mothers and fathers battling in his courtroom that Newman represents his son. Period,” says Wayne Dolcefino, President of Dolcefino Consulting.
“People are fighting for their lives, fighting over their children. This is not a close call. Dozens of family cases in the Judge’s court are now tainted by bad judgement.”
Karen Avery’s attorney has also asked Lombardino to rescue himself from her case.
Avery believes rulings in her divorce case have been different since Bobby Newman began representing her soon-to- be-ex- husband in Lombardino’s court. She now wants an investigation by the Judicial Conduct Commission.
“It was just like we were stonewalled. My attorney and I were stonewalled, and we couldn’t get anything in Judge Lombardino’s court after Bobby Newman was hired,” says Avery.
Dolcefino Consulting has been hired by other victims of Family Injustice in recent months to investigate and expose conflicts of interest and possible abuses of power in the Harris County
Family Court system – a system long plagued by questions of proper ethics. The Houston based investigative communications firm has also been examining possible misconduct in the billing practices of some of Houston’s biggest divorce lawyers.
As part of our investigation, Dolcefino Consulting has also been reviewing campaign records. It is no secret that family lawyers provide most of the money for family court judges. Attorney
Newman, his family and his firm, have donated more than $100,00 to various judges.
However, Judge Lombardino is the biggest recipient of the Newman campaign cash. Newman has also hosted campaign events for the Judge.
Neither Bobby Newman, Judge Lombardino nor his son David Lombardino have responded to our requests for comment. Dolcefino Consulting has asked for invoices and evidence of payment to see if Newman has discounted his fees or provided free legal service to the Lombardino family.
“Judge Lombardino now has an ethical obligation to release these records,” says Dolcefino. “Bobby Newman charges $600.00 per hour. The public deserves to know if the Judge’s son is getting a special deal, and what that means for justice in Lombardino’s court.”
Dolcefino Consulting has been hired by a growing number of victims of family injustice who are filing complaints with the State Bar of Texas and the Judicial Conduct Commission.