Early on in the Highway 6 landfill fight, Hempstead Mayor Michael Wolfe says he had two visitors representing garbage company Green Group. Wolfe says they came to convince him to support the proposed 17 story tower of trash. The Mayor didn’t.
One of the visitors was Patricia Shipton, then a registered lobbyist for Green Group. Shipton is now Chief of Staff to the Texas Speaker of the House.
The other was Houston State Representative Senfronia Thompson.
Ask yourself this question? Why would an African- American lawmaker want to help a garbage company put a giant dump in a place that would help ruin the economic future of places like Hempstead or Prairie View, predominantly minority communities? Green Group has been accused of environmental racism, and not just there…
Remember hundreds of Prairie View students marching in protest against the dump?
Could it have been the money?
We know Green Group has already spent millions in the quest to darken Highway 6 with a huge landfill. We know they have a lot of former TCEQ Officials on the pad.
What taxpayers should now is how much, if anything, they paid Senfronia Thompson, and are there other lawmakers that have been, or are on Green Group’s payroll?
We tried to ask Representative Thompson how much she may have been paid by Green Group to use her influence, but shockingly she did not call us back.
But we’ve still got lots of questions.
Don’t expect the state financial disclosure laws to help. In our view, they are intentionally useless.
We checked six years of Rep Thompsons Financial Disclosures. No mention of Green Group.
Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised.
There is also no mention of the tax collection firm Linebarger, Goggan, Blair and Sampson.
A CNN Money investigation claims Thompson has been paid 2 million dollars as a minority subcontractor by the tax collection firm.
By law, State Lawmakers must disclose if they have lobbied a state agency, but they don’t have to disclose the work they do for local governments on state disclosure forms, and that’s where a lot of the big money seems to be flowing.
Look at contracts at the Houston airport, HISD, The City of Houston, Harris County Community College.
Don’t be surprised if you find a politician getting a piece of the affirmative action pie. Big slices.
Imagine if lawmakers, especially the lawyers, had to disclose every client that paid them, who also could be affected by legislation or the action of state agencies they regulate. That would be actual transparency.
What we have now is a joke.
A check of Harris County court records show Thompson has only been the lawyer on one civil, family or criminal case filed since 2006. One lawsuit in ten years.
Anytime Senfronia Thompson wants to chat about Green Group, we will be glad to update.
From The Times Tribune of Waller County.
BK Times Tribune 08-11-2016 4
In December, Waller County Sheriff Glen Smith claims an arsenal of weapons, including a machine gun, were stolen from his pickup truck.
The Sheriff didn’t even bother to alert police right away, even though an arsenal of weapons were in the hands of criminals!
It’s nearly nine months later. Hey Sheriff, find them guns yet?
The theft came just as Dolcefino Consulting began an investigation into the inventory of weapons in the Waller County Sheriff’s Office. Our review discovered two sets of inventory, one belonging to the auditor, and then a completely different record the Sheriff had. It showed weapons being bought, sold and traded, even though there was already a surplus of weapons. We also found receipts for weapons that didn’t even show up in the inventory.
In other words, it was a cluster!
Waller County Commissioner Russell Klecka called for an audit.
Waller County Auditor Alan Younts said he was so busy he couldn’t start the audit until April. That was in February.
It’s now August, and at last check the audit never happened. Alan Younts now wants a raise.
Sheriff Smith has never even bothered to turn in a new inventory, but we have looked at the records he DID turn in at the request of the auditor, for the audit that never happened.
And those records, well they are a cluster too.
Do you get the feeling they don’t want to let the taxpayers see just how big of a cluster?
Two days ago, Waller County Commissioner Russell Klecka caused a bit of a stir among entrenched county officials. He wanted commissioners to vote to actually audit the Sheriff’s entertaining arsenal of weapons. The DA and auditor had been silent.
We told you in recent weeks the Waller County Auditor didn’t have a clue what weapons the Sheriff has bought or traded the last four years. We told you the Sheriff’s own weapons inventory list shows lots of guns, even automatic weapons, unassigned to anyone, even while the Sheriff and his top aides buy more weapons. We found receipts for weapons we can’t find on any inventory. We know the Sheriff’s office has been trading weapons without any notice to the auditor. That doesn’t count the sub machine gun and other weapons allegedly stolen from the Sheriff’s truck a few months ago. Thank goodness we learned the department has another sub machine gun.
Sometimes public officials forget. All those weapons don’t belong to them. They belong to Waller County Taxpayers. Klecka simply wanted to have done what should have already been done. What an outrageous idea…please.
This morning, the Sheriff asked the auditor to conduct a full audit, even though that’s what he’s already paid to do…but I digress.
It sure looks like Sheriff Smith added a dash of retaliation. He asked for invoices for furniture paid for over the last two years for Commissioners. Sure it is just a coincidence, but Commissioner Klecka bought new furniture after his election last year.
And the Sheriff also wants to see who has been talking to county commissioners in the last several weeks about a guy named Mark Anthony Alvarez, a friend of his daughters’.
In fact, the Waller County District Attorney did have time to call Terry Hall to the grand jury in the last several days to talk about the Alvarez matter. Hall is running against the incumbent Sheriff in the March primary.
If you are wondering why Mathis hasn’t called Odis Styers, Frank Pokluda, Stan Kitzman or Glen Beckendorff to the grand jury to talk about the landfill, you are not the only one.
READ: Audit Email 2.5.16
The Waller County Sheriff puts evidence into a property room. Turns out no one knows if everything that is supposed to be in there, still is.
Dolcefino Consulting has learned the Waller County Sheriff Glenn Smith has no records showing the evidence in the property room has ever been audited under his watch. We also now know Waller County has no records showing there has ever been an audit of the inventory of tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of weapons bought in the last four years.
“This is pretty simple stuff,” says Wayne Dolcefino of Dolcefino Consulting. “And the fact that no one is auditing evidence and weapons is a failure of more than one public official. Taxpayers should demand an immediate accounting.”
We have been examining the paper trail ever since the Sheriff had a sub-machine gun and other weapons stolen from his truck. We have documented discrepancies in the records. The auditor doesn’t have a clue what weapons the Sheriff’s Office has. The Sheriff buys more weapons even though their own records show a lot of guns not even assigned. The Sheriff’s Office trades weapons in for more expensive ones, but no one keeps total track of where all the guns went.
Now we know the paper trail raises serious questions about the use of the taxpayers, including forfeiture and narcotics funds used by the Waller County Sheriff’s Office.
So let’s follow the trail. Every year, the Sheriff asks County Commissioners to approve spending of narcotics funds through what is called the “Imprest Fund.” That fund is quickly being depleted, in part because of all the weapons buys.
But there may be a bigger problem. The Sheriff’s discretionary funds always include money for Undercover Narcotics Operations, including buy money.
We asked for all documents detailing the spending from those accounts, and there are no documents detailing any use of buy money.
The public deserves answers. The silence is deafening.
A continuing investigation of Waller County Sheriff Glen Smith, has exposed a lax accounting of where expensive weapons are, and a gun buying frenzy that appears to be a waste of taxpayer’s money for unnecessary weapons.
Dolcefino Consulting reviewed receipts for gun purchases after the Sheriff reported his county vehicle had been broken into, and among other weapons, his machine gun had been stolen. As it turns out, the Sheriff and his key gun buyers didn’t buy just one sub machine gun, they bought two, along with a slew of handguns and rifles and 20 silencers over a three-year period. Why? The new weapons were purchased even though the Sheriff’s own inventory shows many weapons aren’t even assigned to any employee of the Sheriff’s Office.
What is clear is that Waller County Auditor Alan Younts, the guy who is supposed to keep track of inventory, and the taxpayer’s assets, didn’t have a clue what guns the Sheriff has bought with discretionary funds or where those weapons are now.
We have been given all the receipts the Sheriff and the Waller County District Attorney’s Office say exist. There are receipts for weapons that do not show up in the auditor’s inventory, or the much larger Sheriffs inventory, raising a simple question which investigators should answer. Where are the guns?
The Sheriff and key employees have traded in several weapons, but again the paper trail raises questions. There are no receipts for some of these purported trades.
Dolcefino Consulting has offered to share our findings with Waller County Officials, but a full immediate audit is clearly needed. And the Sheriff should be made to explain why he keeps buying more guns, when many of the weapons he’s already bought aren’t being used by anyone.
Waller County Sheriff Glenn Smith says he was a victim of crime last weekend. That really isn’t news, because quite frankly he has plenty of company in this area.
What is news, is the stunning lack of judgement of this elected law enforcement official after he discovered an arsenal of weapons, including a submachine gun, had been supposedly stolen from his county vehicle in the middle of the day. A police jacket was gone too.
Maybe Sheriff Smith doesn’t watch much TV in Hempstead, but terrorists just massacred 14 people at a county event in San Bernardino, California. Everyone is being told “if you see something, say something.” It isn’t just a catchy phrase Sheriff.
Last Saturday at lunch, just days after Bernadino, Waller County officials gathered at the Saltgrass Steakhouse on the Katy Freeway for an awards ceremony for the Waller County Child Welfare Board. All the county top officials were there. Shortly after one o’clock, Sheriff Smith left the restaurant and noticed someone had broken into his pickup. He then saw eight pistols and rifles were missing, including a heavily regulated 45 caliber machine gun that could be used in a mass shooting.
Did the Sheriff run inside to warn the restaurant? No.
Did the Sheriff warn any of the officials still there, or any of the families inside? No.
Certainly he called the Harris County Sheriff to alert them an arsenal of weapons were loose? NOPE.
If you believe Sheriff Smith, he drove his damaged vehicle all the way back to Hempstead. A full thirty minutes after he left Saltgrass he told his own department to create a police report. Remember this was Saturday afternoon, December 5TH.
Do you know when Sheriff Smith’s office finally alerted the Harris County Sheriff’s Office of this huge law enforcement danger?
11:24 AM December 7th. That is a full two days later.
Sheriff Smith is lucky that so far, that sub-machine gun hasn’t been used to hurt anyone, or least that we know.
If you are asking why the Waller County Sheriff needs a submachine gun in the first place, that is a pretty good question. Why in the world did he have 8 unsecured weapons in his car?
Another good question is why the Sheriff didn’t call the cops that very second, just in case some unsuspecting fellow lawmen pulled over a carload of burglars down the street?
Smith has a lot of explaining to do. Waller County voters have a lot of thinking to do.
Waller County Sheriff Glenn Smith is improperly “giving out badges” from the Sheriff’s Department, in violation of his own rules.
An investigation by Dolcefino Consulting has found serious violations of the Reserve rules in Waller County, jeopardizing taxpayers.
For instance, half the reserve deputies didn’t lift a finger for taxpayers in more than a year, violating the edict of Smith’s own department they must work 16 hours a month.
In a May 2014 e-mail, Chief Deputy Craig Davis wrote, “I do not think that 16 hours a month is too much to ask for in exchange for the privilege and responsibility of carrying the badge of the Waller County Sheriff’s Office.”
Yet since then, nearly half the 35 reserve officers with badges didn’t log a single hour of work.
The reserve badges have significant economic value and that is why reserve deputies are supposed to get written permission to work other jobs using the law enforcement commission.
And that is why Dolcefino Consulting began investigating.
Both the Chief Executive Officer and Tactical Commander of Cypress Creek EMS have reserve commission from Waller County. Sheriff’s records show neither Brad England nor Wren Nealy have worked at all for Waller County since June of 2014, and neither have submitted paperwork authorizing them to use their commission in their work at Cypress Creek. The Sheriff admits he has never used the Cypress Creek EMS tactical team.
Wren Nealy is the commander of the tactical team and listed as a reserve Lieutenant for the Waller County Sheriff, even though there’s evidence he is doing any work for the badge That raises liability questions for both Waller County and taxpayers of ESD#11 who are paying some CCEMS Medics overtime for this armed medical team.
CCEMS has refused to turn over records detailing how much the tactical unit is getting paid, what they are doing armed on the ambulances and who is armed and with what weapons.
Add it to the list of secrets CCEMS is keeping while they collect millions in tax dollars.