The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (HLSR) is accused of retaliating against Dolcefino Consulting for trying to expose the conduct of Houston’s charity sacred cow.
In a legal motion filed in the court of Judge Steven Kirkland, the Houston based investigative communications firm wanted to send a clear message to the Rodeo. We will not back down. We have a First Amendment right to speak out about the Rodeo’s use of charity funds and the Rodeo will not infringe upon it.
The legal action seeks protection under the Texas Citizens Participation Act, a law designed to protect communication on issues of public concern.
Dolcefino Consulting began investigating the Rodeo after first looking into the rape of a young woman at a Los Vaqueros trail ride event. In 2017, the Rodeo was sued in that case.
Just days after we asked for records under Texas charity laws, the Rodeo made two unsuccessful attempts to stop our investigation. In June, Dolcefino Consulting filed a criminal complaint with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office for violations of the charity law requiring the Rodeo to provide financial records for inspection.
In response, the Rodeo filed a lawsuit seeking legal damages against Dolcefino Consulting, conduct that we believe constitutes felony criminal retaliation. The Rodeo has also tried to have the District Attorney investigate Dolcefino Consulting.
“Their ‘Whac-a-Mole’ style retaliation shows a clear pattern of attacking Dolcefino when he speaks out on these issues,” says Jeff Diamant, the Houston attorney representing our firm.
“The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo has proven their arrogance and are destroying their reputation with Houstonians by hiding their use of money given to help children and promote agriculture,” says Wayne Dolcefino, President of Dolcefino Consulting, “They have decided they get to ignore the laws and it is shameful the Board of Directors, some of Houston’s biggest names, have not stepped in to tell them to act like good citizens. I do not back down from a fight.”
The next hearing in the Rodeo’s attempts to silence Dolcefino Consulting is this Friday morning, September 14, 2018 in Judge Kirkland’s 113th District Court.