The investigation of that controversial County Road 79 road deal in Colorado County is exposing new potential conflicts of interest.
Dolcefino Consulting’s investigation has already helped spark a probe by the Texas Rangers of County Judge Ty Prause. He was the swing vote when Colorado County Commissioners moved to take historic private property for a county road.
Landowner Lesley Carey took the Commissioners to court, and now hearing the latest news, has filed new court papers, questioning the Judge’s conduct. Carey hired Dolcefino Consulting to get to the bottom of the road shenanigans. While searching real estate records, we uncovered another land deal that deserves some ‘splaining.
In June of 2014, Colorado County Commissioner Doug Wessels bought some property near the coast in Matagorda, Texas. Maybe it was just a coincidence, but the seller was John Faltisek, owner of Faltisek paving, who gets lots of business from Colorado County. Three months before the real estate deal with Wessels family, Faltisek got a lucrative county contract. Over the next 2 and a half years, Faltisek was awarded more paving contracts worth three quarters of a million dollars.
Wessels wouldn’t tell us how much he paid for the property, except that it was more than the appraised value of $30,000. He also claims the property wasn’t for sale, until he called Faltisek to ask.
Sounds like something a County Commissioner might want to disclose, in public, so folks would know.
Did either John Faltisek or Commissioner Wessels ever reveal their real estate deal to taxpayers?
Nope. Wait, it gets better.
Wessels admits he did wonder about a potential conflict, but got the OK to vote anyway, and not mention it to taxpayers.
We figured Wessels probably asked the County Attorney, after all, that would be the guy elected to answer those questions and, after all, he is also the local District Attorney, you know, the guy who prosecutes ethics violations.
So did Wessels talk to Jay Johannes? Nope. Wessels asked his frequent phone pal Judge Ty Prause for conflict advice. The same guy now under scrutiny for his possible conflicts of interest.
Who knows what will happen to the Rangers probe, but it is safe to say Colorado County Commissioners have some ‘splaining to do.
They should start with a new vote, changing their mind on the road deal that’s now covered with mud.