Mayor Turner Loses Fight To Hide Hurricane Records
Houston City hall must cough up records detailing the employees of Houston’s biggest hurricane contractors.
Late Friday afternoon, the Texas Attorney General turned down Mayor Turner’s requests to hide records of payments to DRC and Tetra Tech, disaster companies getting a huge chunk of the $75 million already paid to outside contractors in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.
Last December, Dolcefino Consulting asked for documents detailing the use of payments from the City of Houston to DRC, Tetra Tech and Leidos Inc. since August 1, 2017. Houston City Hall said no.
“We also asked for documents showing employees or contractors of the companies that have been paid with City of Houston funds, because it is my experience that government official’s buddies end up on the payroll of companies after disasters,” says Wayne Dolcefino, President of Dolcefino Consulting. “You would think Houston City Hall would be proud to show people how every dime of their disaster money is spent, but they don’t. Of course, with this mayor, nothing really surprises me anymore.”
In January, Dolcefino Consulting documented more than $100,000 in campaign contributions to the mayor from vendors benefiting from Hurricane Harvey contracts, even though billions of dollars more is still to be doled out.
“Every single penny should be spent on helping Houstonian’s get their lives back to normal and every single penny should be accounted for,” says Dolcefino. “Hurricane victims have a fundamental right to know who is making money off their misery and if we lived in a city with transparency, we would require all disaster companies to detail their personnel, their contractors and their lawyers because the money is often well hidden.”
The City of Houston has ten days to turn the records over or file a lawsuit against the Texas Attorney General.