SECRECY MOUNTS IN MAYOR TURNER’S HURRICANE BONANZA

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Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner

ICF International is getting $36 million dollars in Hurricane Harvey recovery money from Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner to help people who need home repairs.

They don’t think you have a right to know who is making the money.

ICF is now refusing to reveal even the most basic information about the people on the hurricane money trail at the company.

In a letter to the Texas Attorney General, ICF claims “releasing names, emails, phone numbers, experience and the resumes of their employees and subcontractors would keep them at a competitive disadvantage.”

Huh. They already got the contract!

“Let me get this straight. They want to put their hands in the taxpayer’s pocket but not tell you who is on their payroll,” says Wayne Dolcefino, President of the investigative media firm Dolcefino Consulting. “That’s a deal killer. It is time for the Houston City Council to say no play no way.”

ICF thinks the names of their hurricane employees is some kind of trade secret. “That’s insane reasoning,” says Dolcefino. “Just as insane is the fact we gave them the contract.”

“It’s well documented that ICF is accused of mishandling hundreds of millions of dollars in Louisiana following Hurricane Katrina. How are they punished? They get millions more from Houston.”

Funny, this contract has lots of secret. The City of Houston is fighting to keep e-mails about one of ICF’s subcontractors a secret. It’s Barry Barnes, Turner’s long-time legal partner. He stands to make $6.7 million from the deal, millions more than we were originally told he’d make.

Ever wonder how of all the lawyers in our city and ICF just happened to pick the Mayor’s former law partner for the deal?

Enough is enough. It’s high time for Turner to stop doing secret deals with desperately needed Hurricane Money.

It’s time for the District Attorney Kim Ogg to forget she’s a Democrat and stop protecting the Mayor’s hide and go seek with public records.