Mayor Turner has tried to hide records of his controversial recycling contracts for nearly two years. The First Court of Appeals has now dealt his secrecy a major blow.
Turner had chosen to ignore a ruling by State District Judge Kristen Hawkins to show her the e-mails City Hall wanted to hide from the public. Now the case goes back to the same judge.
The e-mails will chronicle the Mayor’s efforts to deny ECOHUB the contract to recycling all of the city’s garbage. The company had promised to save the City millions and share profits to help pay for Houston firefighter pay raises.
“The Court of Appeals ruling proves what we felt all along, the City’s appeal was a meritless waste of taxpayer funds strategically designed to throw a wrench into the trial court’s laudable efforts to promote the public right to know,” says Stewart Hoffer of the law firm of Hicks Thomas.
Dolcefino Consulting already has e-mails showing City Garbage Boss Harry Hayes soliciting a foreign company, FCC, to come to town to build a recycling plant even while the City was finalizing a contract with ECOHUB. ECOHUB envisioned the end of expensive landfills and had 800 million dollars in private money to build a plant to convert trash into new products. There are other e-mails detailing Turner’s efforts to kill the contract.
“We can now go back to the business of unmasking what really happened behind the scenes on the City’s approach to the ECOHUB deal,” says Hoffer.
“Mayor Turner needs to come clean today. He is wasting tax dollars that we can use to give our firefighters the fair pay they deserve,” says Wayne Dolcefino, President of Dolcefino Consulting. “This Mayor has made a mockery of the public right to know.”
Dolcefino Consulting also wants the Mayor to release a detailed account of the companies and consultants making money on the FCC deal.
“I have said for months this deal stinks worse than the garbage in your trashcan”, says Dolcefino. “Remember the Mayor now says we can’t afford to give our firefighters the pay they deserve because we don’t have the money. The only one to blame for that is Mayor Turner.”