San Angelo’s City Council caved to Republic Waste in the new recycling deal.

Sure, Republic was threatening to charge higher fees because they can’t get anyone to buy a lot of the recycled stuff anymore. But wait a minute, wasn’t the recycling contract part of the deal Republic cut to get control of the lucrative landfill contract from the city? They also get to pick up trash from commercial customers.

It was a deal worth about $250 million. Republic said they were losing $55,000 a month picking up recycling, without having to provide proof.

Who cares? They made the deal. Why is it government that feels they need to cater to a private company?

The surrender by San Angelo City Council comes in the same week the 3rd Court of Appeals rules a lawsuit over the last time Republic got caught cheating San Angelo business owners can’t be a class action suit.

Republic overcharged commercial customers by at least 6.5 million dollars. Who knows how much because a draft audit of the rip-off that was never finished said it was too much to calculate.

Republic later claimed, again without any proof, that all but about $250,000 of the money was paid back. Republic refused to disclose the names of those San Angelo business owners they claim they couldn’t find, and San Angelo City Council never forced them to share the names. Guess in trash world, a quarter of a million bucks is chump change.

Dolcefino Consulting has repeatedly offered to try to help find the folks Republic and their crack lawyers claim they can’t find, and we will do it for free for taxpayers.

Crickets from San Angelo and Republic.

So, here’s another idea.

Rather than let Republic keep earning interest on money they ripped off from San Angelo business owners in the first place, why don’t they write a check to the City of San Angelo to help defray the costs of garbage pickup, to help pay the salary of the City Garbage official who obviously doesn’t care about getting the money back.

By now that pot of money has grown for sure somewhere in Republic’s bank accounts.

Republic should do that today. Mayor Gunter should tell them. She should also demand a list of the customers they couldn’t find and send it to me.

“I will never understand why the City of San Angelo wanted to keep doing business with a company in the first place that got busted for ripping off San Angelo taxpayers,” says Wayne Dolcefino, President of the Houston-based Dolcefino Consulting. “I would have reminded Republic of their little rip-off when they came whining about recycling costs.”

Dolcefino Consulting exposed the leftover money from the overcharging in 2017, and since then we’ve been waiting for San Angelo City Council to demand the names.

Instead, it appears the politicians are too busy worrying about how much profit Republic is making.

An investigation by Dolcefino Consulting and the news website San Angelo Live have finally sparked politicians in San Angelo to ask the questions they should have asked nearly three years ago!

Did Republic waste ever provide the 6.3 million dollars in promised refunds for overcharging 2,000 business customers in San Angelo?

After public records prove the City never completed an audit of the overcharging as they promised taxpayers, we now know no one from the City ever asked for the proof of refunds. Late Wednesday, San Angelo’s City Attorney’s Office confirms they have finally asked Republic for the information.

You know what Republic said! It’s confidential.

Can you imagine? San Angelo gave Republic a contract that could earn them 260 million dollars over ten years, but Republic doesn’t have to tell them if they ever refunded the money they promised to give back.

Republic cites ongoing litigation as one of the reasons they are clamming up.

The City of San Angelo is also admitting tonight they haven’t been able to find any other checks proving taxpayers ever got the money Republic had cheated from City Departments, about $100,000. Checks for only a fraction of the money can be accounted for after months of asking.

The Republic controversy is now a political issue in the Mayor’s race.

Brenda Gunter, a San Angelo businesswoman running for the office called the recent disclosures on Republic shocking, promising accountability if she wins the office and a review of the lucrative garbage deal.

“It was a contentious fight. I am shocked and I don’t understand why someone would not follow up. They gave the citizens a nod and then closed the door.” “Did we do right by the citizens and the business community. If the answer is no. We must correct it to yes.”

Councilwoman Charlotte Farmer, a supporter of the Republic deal declined to comment citing “litigation” and claimed she hadn’t seen the records we have seen.

“I informed Ms. Farmer that the records we obtained were public records, and as a City Councilwoman she had the opportunity to get the records herself, or ask the questions she apparently never bothered to ask,” says Wayne Dolcefino, President of the Houston based Investigative Communications firm Dolcefino Consulting.

The Mayor and City Manager have been silent, refusing to answer questions from Dolcefino Consulting.