We all know about the famous Bill Clinton answer to a grand jury investigation. “it depends on what the meaning of the word is is.”

Now we have the local edition. Cypress Creek EMS lawyer Andrew Mckinney is trying to convince a Harris County Criminal Judge the state charity law is too vague for him to understand, even what a “financial record” is.

Cypress Creek EMS has faced criminal charges for sixteen months for violating the Texas Charity Law by refusing to release payroll records of administrators, including CCEMS Boss Brad England. CCEMS has even refused to provide the names of CCEMS employees paid with tax dollars.

Dolcefino Consulting asked for the payroll records so that taxpayers could see who was getting paid with their money. Seems simple, but not to the folks at CCEMS.

Months after being charged, the Harris County District Attorney subpoenaed the payroll records. CCEMS just ignored the criminal subpoena, and now their lawyer is trying to convince a Judge to throw it out.

Mr. Mckinney claims the charity law is vague and he just doesn’t know what a “financial record” is. That means it is apparently hard for him and the folks at CCEMS to figure out if a payroll record is a financial record.

At a recent court hearing after more than 17 delays, Mr. McKinney addressed the District Attorney.

“I know what you are getting at, I know what you are asking for, but there isn’t a record of salaries the way you are asking for it.”

Sure sounds a lot like that famous Clinton quote.

“Charities in Texas have been releasing the names of employees and their salaries since I was in diapers”, says Wayne Dolcefino, President of Dolcefino Consulting. “The United Way, the Red Cross, you name it and the public has a right to see how their donations are spent. I am sorry Mr. Mckinney is so confused.”

Of course, with CCEMS there is a greater obligation for transparency. Ten million in tax money, plus a government contract from ESD # 11 that lets CCEMS collect and keep the
medical bills from the 911 contract they have to protect 600,000 Harris County residents.

And all this time, the majority of the elected ESD #11 Safety Commissioners haven’t forced them to show the records.

Of course, the FBI is now investigating who helped fund the campaigns of some of those same commissioners. CCEMS has been subpoenaed too.

Your tax dollars at work.

Luckily, taxpayers in ESD #11 have a chance in May to elect the new safety commissioners who will hopefully watchdog your money the right way.

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