New legal action in recycling records scandal

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A Harris County District Judge was asked today to put an end to the Mayor’s game of hide and go seek with public records on the controversial new recycling contract.

The legal action by Dolcefino Consulting comes on the same day the Mayor held a ribbon cutting at the FCC recycling plant in northeast Houston, calling the planned opening of the plant monumental.

“It did not happen easily, it did not happen overnight, it did not happen without challenges,” Turner said.

Turner is right about the FCC deal having challenges. City councilmembers and the City Controller all raised questions about the transparency of the city selection. The Mayor has ignored calls to identify consultants and lawyers hired by FCC while they bid on the contract.

The foreign company FCC was chosen to handle recycling in Houston after Mayor Turner killed a planned contract with a company called ECOHUB, who promised to share millions of dollars in profits with City Hall to help pay Houston firefighters.

Dolcefino Consulting filed a motion for summary judgment Thursday April 4, 2019, after nearly two years of fighting for public records about ECOHUB and FCC and will ask Judge Kristen Hawkins to rule Mayor Turner has broken the law. Dolcefino Consulting is seeking tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees.

“Mayor Turner has become a serial violator of the Texas Public Information Act, and the city is still hiding key records and e-mails about this recycling deal, including a lot of e-mails about FCC,” says Wayne Dolcefino, President of Dolcefino Consulting.

ECOHUB bitterly complained the Mayor helped rig the bidding process to cut them out of the chance to recycle Houston’s trash. 

While City Hall hides many e-mails and the records of the evaluation committee who chose FCC, Dolcefino Consulting already has e-mails showing city garbage boss Harry Hayes solicited FCC to come to town, even while city lawyers were finalizing a contract with ECOHUB.

We also have e-mails detailing allegations of unethical behavior in Houston garbage contracts.

ECOHUB had promised to use $800 million of private money to recycle all of Houston’s trash, drastically cutting the wear and tear on garbage trucks and the need for landfills.

Houston City Hall is even hiding records detailing the lack of bidding on city garbage and landfill contracts.               

“We are hopeful that this legal action today will put a stop to the City’s seemingly endless delay and games,” says Stewart Hoffer of the Hicks Thomas law firm.

“Later this month, for the first time in this fight, we will get a city official under oath and we will prove this conspiracy of secrecy that continues while the Mayor cuts ribbons on back room deals,” says Dolcefino.

The court showdown in the city hall recycling case is scheduled for April 29th, 2019.