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.
Dolcefino Consulting is expanding our social media footprint, hiring an Associate Producer of Media Content to manage the production of significant video content on the web.
Ideal candidate must have:
– Experience in a television newsroom environment as a Producer or Associate Producer.
– The ability to assist in the editing of videos and creatively produce video and news release content for
– Aggressive and Creative writing skills
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– Guts and Discretion
Dolcefino Consulting investigates, communicates and advocates for our clients, exposing public and private corruption. The firm works to assist other news organizations, but also creates our own media content.
Dolcefino Consulting provides crisis management, litigation support, opposition research and political consulting services. This is a war-time firm. The President of Dolcefino Consulting is Wayne Dolcefino, a 30-time Emmy Award Winning Investigative Journalists, honored by the Investigative Reporters and Editors Organization.
Dolcefino Consulting offers a 401K plan and contributes to health insurance coverage for employees.
If you are interested in joining our growing team, please send a resume, writing and social media samples to Lori@dolcefino.com.
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
Former Texas Tech Chancellor Kent Hance
The Texas Two Step…more than just a lottery game, or a dance step…it’s also how Texas Tech paid its outgoing Chancellor Kent Hance.
Hance worked out a deal with the University upon his retirement to become Chancellor Emeritus. His responsibilities included assisting the new Chancellor, fundraising, and teaching one class.
Those duties…and his $240,000 a year paycheck… were supposed to continue until the 3-year term expired on July 7, 2017.
Except Hance retired again.
In October of 2016, he sent a letter to his successor Chancellor Robert Duncan, stating he was retiring but wished to continue to teach his class.
The transition agreement signed by Hance and then Board Of Regents Chairman Mickey Long states in part:
“If Hance terminates this agreement prior to the end of the transitional term all obligations of the parties shall cease immediately.”
In other words…if Hance quits, he doesn’t get paid.
Documents obtained by Dolcefino Consulting will now expose the Texas Tech double dip.
One month after his second retirement Hance was rehired by the University to teach his class for a salary $44,000 a year.
But when we looked at the financial records, it simply didn’t add up.
In 2016, Texas Tech records show Hance had been paid $386,147.45, a lot more than Texas Tech was contracted to pay him.
Now you’ll know why.
Just two weeks after Hance retired the second time… Texas Tech paid him a lump sum of $153,603 that he hadn’t even earned yet under the old contract. The deal never was approved by the Board Of Regents… Just between the old Chancellor and the new one.
Hance was then re-hired to teach his class starting in November and began drawing his $44,000 a year salary.
Maybe the University figured that since it exceeded its goal of raising a billion dollars from alumni donations, that Hance deserved an extra $153,603.
But that makes you wonder why this school year, Texas Tech students are paying $110 more per semester in tuition… that’s 1391 kids, and their parents, who might have avoided paying that increase without a Kent Hance bonus.
“This is just the beginning,” says Wayne Dolcefino, President of Dolcefino Consulting, “I promised Texas Tech we were going to expose their secrets until they stop cheating Mike Leach. More are coming.”
Kent Hance documentsHance letter to Chancellor
Hance Memo Terms
Dolcefino Consulting has notified Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg we are filing a criminal complaint filing against Mayor Sylvester Turner, accusing him of illegally withholding public e-mails.
The e-mails at question involve Turner’s communications with his political confidante Maya Ford, who detailed possible ethical misconduct by city garbage boss Harry Hayes and big landfill companies.
Houston City Council today approved the recycling deal, despite evidence the city rigged the bid to exclude a company called Ecohub. Even the day before the bid was released, top city officials were warning it would exclude companies.
Ecohub founder George Gitschel had worked with the city for nearly six years on a plan to reduce garbage routes and save the city up to $40 million dollars a year. Gitschel even offered to share profits with the city to help get pay raises for Houston Firefighters.
“The Mayor has betrayed taxpayers today,” says Gitschel. “I worked with the city for years in good faith and kept my word they would be the first Ecohub in the country. I am disgusted and will fight to uncover the truth. Houstonians should be outraged at the secrecy. This deal is smellier than a landfill.”
Ecohub hired Dolcefino Consulting in December of 2016. For more than a year, the city has fought the release of records on city garbage contracts, even ignoring a Judge’s order to produce them for inspection last week. Instead, the city is using your tax-money to fight the release of records.
“Let me be clear. This is not the final chapter of this fight,” says Wayne Dolcefino, President of Dolcefino Consulting. “I heard the Mayor says no one has questioned his transparency and fairness. Well we are, and we have notified the Mayor we are asking the District Attorney to do her job and subpoena these records immediately. We have proof he is hiding damaging records that protect his communications on an e-mail account registered to his law firm.”
On November 30, 2017 Dolcefino Consulting requested all e-mails sent between Turner and Maya Ford on any device since January 1, 2016.
The Mayor provided just a handful of e-mails.
“We have a smoking gun that he didn’t give them all to us,” says Dolcefino. “This is a mayor who didn’t fire his press secretary when she was caught covering up e-mail evidence she ran her production company on city time and city equipment. Guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”
City council approved the 20-year deal with foreign recycling company FCC. Only council members Brenda Stardig, Mike Knox, and Michael Kubosh voted against the contract.
Councilman Michael Laster, who chairs the city council committee that reviewed the deal said he would have voted no as well, if he had been at the meeting.
“Every Council member who voted for this contract while this charade of secrecy exists will wear this ethics vote,” says Dolcefino.MAYOR-TURNER-CRIMINAL-COMPLAINT-01-10-2018
COH RESP DOCS 12-6-17
4 - Re TWEF Vendor Inclusion
a - Fwd CONFIDENTIAL IMPORTANT Full Story
b - Fwd FOLLOW UP ONE BIN FOR ALL
c - Fwd Thank You!
– Company asks for criminal investigation into Turner’s handling of emails Email
– Criminal complaint filed against Houston mayor after controversial $37M recycling contract approved for company
WHEN: 10:00 am, January 8, 2018
WHERE: Law Office of Lynn, Pinker, Cox and Hurst
2100 Ross Avenue, Suite 2700, Dallas, Texas 75201 (MAP)
A major news conference is scheduled at the law offices of Lynn, Pinker, Cox and Hurst Monday morning to announce the filing of a lawsuit in Lubbock against Texas Tech University.
The lawsuit accuses the University of withholding public records regarding the controversial firing of Mike Leach, which includes communications of the Board of Regents and former
Chancellor Kent Hance.
The lawsuit will be filed by Wayne Dolcefino, President of Dolcefino Consulting, the Houston based investigative communications firm hired by the former Coach to uncover the truth.
Attorneys Michael K. Hurst of Lynn Pinker Cox & Hurst and Julie Pettit of The Pettit Law Firm will represent Dolcefino Consulting and detail the lawsuit at the morning news conference.
Michael K. Hurst says, “This case represents an example of abuse of power entrusted to Texas Tech as a governmental body, and about demanding accountability.”
“The public—including students, alumni, and taxpaying citizens—have a legal right to see the emails and investigative notes surrounding Coach Leach’s improper termination,” states Julie
Under Texas law, the writ of mandamus to gain access to public information is to be filed in Lubbock County, where the public records are located.
There is growing evidence Texas Tech fired Coach Mike Leach without a promised investigation, manipulated the firing, and the sworn affidavits of employees. An investigation by Dolcefino Consulting has already uncovered new questions about the preparation of sworn affidavits created after the firing to justify the action, a questionable pay day for former Chancellor Kent Hance, and documents showing Regents were kept in the dark about the depth of fan protest after the controversial firing.
“Texas Tech has chosen to spend taxpayer money to keep the Leach records secret from students, parents, alumni, donors and Texas taxpayers,” says Dolcefino.
Leach filed suit against the University after his firing, but the case was dismissed because of a 100 year-old law in Texas called sovereign immunity. Leach says he was cheated out of $2.5
“A law that gives a public school the right to just cheat a coach, or a company out of money they are owed is beneath Texas,” says Dolcefino. “Regardless, it is time for the secrecy in
Lubbock to end. What are they afraid the public will see?”
The University has refused to release Regent phone records, details of expenditures of the football team, and e-mails between Hance and Kelly Overly, a former Tech foundation official.Petition_Filed
On Wednesday, January 3, 2018, Mayor Sylvester Turner wants Houston City Council to approve the secretive recycling contract with a foreign company FCC.
This $37 million-dollar, twenty-year deal is riddled with secrecy. The Mayor has illegally withheld public records, even from his own e-mails.
Dolcefino Consulting and ECOHUB filed a lawsuit to compel production of the records. The Mayor is spending tax money to fight the Judge’s order. The Mayor has refused to release the scoring sheets, or the names of the City employees who chose the company the Mayor wants. The proposed contract with FCC is being kept secret too.
ECOHUB isn’t the only company raising questions. Waste Management has headquarters here. 1,000 employees. They want to know how the world’s largest recycling company lost out in experience to FCC.
New court documents show the Mayor’s confidante, Maya Ford ignored legal requests to see her records. Ford called the court motion “silliness.” Ford e-mails already show she made allegations of possible ethics violations against City garbage boss, Harry Hayes. A court hearing to compel the records is set for January 30, 2018.
“Any City Councilmember who votes to approve this contract while the Mayor fights to keep this smelly deal secret is making a choice that will haunt them.” That is a promise, says Wayne Dolcefino of Dolcefino Consulting. “Council should delay this vote until the records are made public. Taxpayers have a right to know the truth, whatever it is.”
Dolcefino Consulting has confirmed the FBI has begun interviewing former city employees involved in the recycling case, including the Mayor’s former Press Secretary, Janice Evans who fielded questions from the media about possible bid rigging in the contract.
ECOHUB was finalizing a contract to save the city up to $40 million dollars a year in garbage costs by recycling all the trash into new products when Turner came into office and killed the tax saving contract. There is evidence the Mayor wanted the company to be cut out of a new bid.
ECOHUB had almost $800 million dollars in private financing to build their plant, at no cost to Houston taxpayers, and promised to share profits.
“We will watch to see if any member of Council moves to delay this vote until the Mayor comes clean with the records”, says Dolcefino. “It is time to see who has the ethics to fight for taxpayers.”
New Houston City Hall e-mails detail efforts to rig a scandal plagued recycling bid set for a vote next week.
The e-mails obtained by Dolcefino Consulting offer the latest evidence Mayor Turner wanted to exclude Houston based ECOHUB from even having a chance to compete, despite the promise of hundreds of jobs and drastic reductions in the cost of garbage pickup.
Just one day before the City Hall issued the bids, Economic Boss, Andy Icken, had been kept in the dark about the final language. “RFP for recycling out tomorrow. Want to be sure this encourages maximum participation including ECOHUB.” Hours after the Icken e-mail, there was more evidence key City officials had been ignored. Icken writes, “Can we discuss concerns raised to me by Chris B and Steve Costello?” The proposal would have required ECOHUB to have an existing plant. The Mayor knew they did not and ultimately would be disqualified.
Deputy Director, Chris Butler, had been paid through a Bloomberg foundation grant to lead the ECOHUB effort, complained the terms in the proposal “cause some concern as they may be used to exclude certain proposals.”
ECOHUB founder, George Gitschel, filed a complaint just days after the City issued the proposal. The Turner administration simply ignored the protest for four months, never even responding to the detailed bid rigging complaint.
“Doesn’t that sound familiar,” says Dolcefino Consulting President, Wayne Dolcefino. “This is a Mayor who is fighting the release of e-mails that will document possible misconduct in the garbage department, is spending your tax money even fighting a Judge’s order to produce e-mails kept secret for a year.”
E-mails we do have, show an effort from the beginning to exclude ECOHUB from a fair shot at the contract, even though the company promised to save Houstonians $40 million dollars a year.
In April, former Chief Procurement Officer, John Gillespie was told Solid Waste Officials were against expanding the scope of the proposal, as it was their understanding, the Mayor did not support a “One Bin” type proposal. Hours later Houston garbage boss, Harry Hayes reported the “Mayor had declared One-Bin dead.”
The big question is WHY? ECOHUB had won an exhaustive bidding process unanimously, promising to reduce the wear and tear on garbage trucks by two-thirds, even offering to share profits with the City by recycling all trash into new products.
Houston City council members, Michael Kubosh and Steve Le ignored political threats to delay the vote before Christmas. Several council members want the e-mails released, but the Turner administration ignored State District Judge Kristen Hawkins’ order to produce the documents for her review.
The Mayor continues to illegally withhold government e-mails sent or received on his personal e-mail account, including warnings from a top advisor warning about possible sweetheart deals for landfill companies.
In June, the Mayor announced he wanted to award the contract to a foreign company called FCC, even though the contract would violate Houston First provisions. Waste Management, with thousands of employees and headquarters in Downtown Houston are also publicly complaining about the recycling deal.
“The Mayor has chosen secrecy over transparency. You got to ask yourselves. Why? says Dolcefino. We don’t even have the names of the City employees who evaluated the deal, or their scoring sheets. They should be released immediately. I’ll hold my breath.”
The vote on the 20-year recycling contract is set for next week. The e-mails identified in this report are available to the media upon request.
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.
ECOHUB press conference video to delay Houston recycling contract vote with George Gitschel joined Houston attorney Stewart Hoffer and Wayne Dolcefino.
ECOHUB Founder George Gitschel joined Houston attorney Stewart Hoffer and Wayne Dolcefino, President of the Dolcefino Consulting firm at a Friday afternoon news conference to press for transparency before City Council is scheduled to vote on the deal.
Gitschel, The founder of Houston based ECOHUB, wants the scandal ridden Recycling contract vote delayed.
The press conference followed the court ordered production of e-mails the City of Houston has been fighting to keep secret, including e-mails from Mayor Sylvester Turner’s private e-mail account.
Judge Kristen Hawkins told City lawyers she is deeply troubled with the way the City has followed laws requiring the disclosure of public records. Judge Hawkins will inspect thousands of documents the City wants to withhold, including e-mails that will help show possible bid rigging and charges of possible corruption in City of Houston garbage contracts.
Following the court order, Houston City Councilmember Michael Kubosh was the first to call for a delay in the recycling contract vote until the e-mails are made public.
“It is time to find out why ECOHUB was kicked out of the chance to win this contract,” says Kubosh. “It is the right thing to do.”
ECOHUB has accused the Turner administration of rigging the recycling proposal to keep the company from participating. Turner killed a nearly completed contract with ECOHUB, even though the company was offering to save the City of Houston up to $40 million dollars a year in garbage costs.