We have a big thank you for Mayor Turner. When Dolcefino Consulting President Wayne Dolcefino was the investigative reporter at Channel 13, he just hated him. Now it seems Sly has moved on to a new journalistic target. He now hates the station’s current investigative reporter, Ted Oberg.
At least he’s consistent.
We can’t imagine why he’s mad at Ted. At a City Hall news conference that is must-see TV, Turner accused Oberg of being some sort of biased political operative. Actually Mayor, Ted is only calling you out because your political deals stink.
Mayor Turner wanted a Virginia company to get a $35 million Hurricane Harvey victim housing contract even though the company has been sued by the State of Louisiana for messing up the Hurricane Katrina cleanup. Louisiana politicians call them the “crème de crème” of awful. Can he be mad about that?
Oh, we know why he’s sore. Channel 13 dared to question the familiar folks riding the political gravy train on hurricane relief, especially the lawyer the out of town folks are going to use.
It’s Barry Barnes, the Mayor’s former law partner – and get this:
When the contract proposal was reviewed by a City Council committee, Barnes’ firm stood to make about $2 million. Suddenly, in the few weeks before City Council acted, somebody decided they needed a bunch more legal work than they had originally thought. The new sticker price? $7 million.
Turner points out that his buddy Barry got contracts from government before he was Mayor. He’s absolutely right. Remember that Barry Barnes’ partner was then State Representative Sylvester Turner and their law firm got paid millions of your tax dollars. We are sure it was just qualifications and not buying political influence.
The Mayor tells us he doesn’t tell contractors who to choose to help on city hall contracts, so maybe this Virginia based disaster relief company just got lucky. I bet they had no idea who Barry Barnes was – maybe they just liked his firm website.
Have you noticed the Mayor gets really cranky when you question the way he’s spending our money?
We are going to ask for all the records that explain how the Barry Barnes piece of the pie exploded in recent weeks.
We will bet you Mayor Turner will fight it. He will try to hide the records. Use City of Houston lawyers to fight it in court. That’s what he does.
Maybe now we know why he seems to hate firefighters so much. They dared to question.
Mayor – don’t blame Ted. Look in the mirror.
A Houston credit union is calling for an investigation into a candidate for Family District Court Judge.
The election eve controversy swirls around attorney Melanie Flowers, running for Judge in the 257th Family District Court in Harris County.
Flowers was allowed to hold on to an expensive Land Rover as collateral to make sure she got her pricey legal fees paid from a divorce case in Judge James Lombardino’s court.
Here’s the problem. She got busted driving the car around.
The Baylor College of Medicine Federal Credit Union financed the car and fought hard to get the vehicle back – keeping it out of Flowers’ hands. After the court denied their request to give the car back to the lienholder, the credit union was able to track the car with GPS and uncovered Melanie Flowers was using the Land Rover for her own personal use. She drove it 1200 miles in just one month!
The credit union even tailed Flowers and got some damaging pictures of Flowers in the luxury SUV trying to hide her face from the investigator.
“If she didn’t do anything wrong then why is she covering her face?” said Wayne Dolcefino, President of Dolcefino Consulting, “Voters need to send a message next Tuesday that this conduct is unacceptable.”
Flowers claimed she only drove the car to try and find someone to buy it, but the pictures and the GPS prove otherwise. Flowers filed a motion to get out of the case the same day the credit union filed a motion in court to show the Judge the pictures.
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.”
The Mayor’s “Protect Houston PAC” is working overtime to pad its coffers to try to get you to vote to deny Houston firefighters fair pay as first responders.
New campaign reports are out, and the money is staggering. The “Protect Houston PAC” raised a whopping $930,000 in just thirty days, nearly a million dollars.
Nearly one third of the money is funneled from Mayor Sylvester Turner’s political campaign, exposing this vindictive campaign for what it is. Since the PAC was formed back in July, Turner’s campaign has donated $380,537.50. Another notable “donation” came from the Houston Police Officer’s Union. They gave a hefty $50,000. This comes after the Mayor promised them a pay raise while saying the City would essentially go broke if firefighters got a big raise.
“Today’s filings show you how far Mayor Turner is willing to go to make sure Houston firefighters don’t get the fair and adequate pay they have earned. What kind of Mayor pits cops against firefighters to make a political point,” says Wayne Dolcefino, President of Dolcefino Consulting.
The rest of the money comes mostly from Houston developers and engineering firms. Nice.
The Mayor, we mean Protect Houston PAC has hundreds of thousands of dollars more to spend in the next week.
That’s the group that put the anti-Prop B sign on the hallowed ground where five Houston firefighters died. The Mayor has yet to apologize. You can see who else gave money to diss the firefighters on Dolcefino.com.ProtectHoustonPAC_campaignreport
Mayor Turner and his anti-firefighter folks owe Houston’s heroes an apology!
The Protect Houston PAC, that’s funded by the mayors cronies, put up a campaign sign right in front of the Southwest Inn that says, “Vote Against Prop B.”
Can we stay stupid? This is the motel where a blaze took five Houston firefighters lives.
What a slap in the face to Houston firefighters and their families. The mayor owes the families of these fallen heroes an apology. He owes an apology to Houstonians for attacking people who save lives every darn day.
The mayor addressed the issue at the end of city council meeting Wednesday. All the mayor said was the sign was taken down and we need to be respectful.
There was no apology from Sly. That speaks volumes.
“Who is getting fired for this? Be respectful is not good enough, especially for the families of these dead firefighters. Someone needs to be held accountable for this.” Said Wayne Dolcefino, president of Dolcefino Consulting. “The mayor has crossed the line. He can’t even say he’s sorry? What a guy.”
The mayor seems to think the anti-firefighter sign wasn’t anything really different than the pro Prop B sign placed near the crosses to mark their sacrifice.
“Hey mayor, I got a hunch these dead firefighters would be on the front lines fighting for fair pay. Trying to find some moral equivalence tells Houstonians all they need to know”, says Dolcefino.
Maybe Houstonians will send a message to Sly on November 6th.
Ruling follows city’s efforts to undercut voter-approved collective bargaining
A state district judge rejected the City of Houston’s attempt to have the voter-approved collective bargaining system for Houston firefighters declared “unconstitutional,” the Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association said today.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner had asked the court to declare the firefighters’ use of Texas Local Government Code Chapter 174 “unconstitutional” after publicly claiming he still wants to negotiate a new firefighter contract under the same system.
On Monday, State District Judge Wesley Ward also rejected the Turner Administration’s attempt to throw out the firefighters’ lawsuit against the city which was filed after 2017 contract negotiations ended. During 60 days of negotiations, the city failed to offer any proposals and it became clear the mayor’s team had no authorization to reach a deal. Firefighters had begun the negotiations with a 40-article contract proposal.
HPFFA President Patrick M. “Marty” Lancton said, “We’re grateful the court rejected the mayor’s attack on voter-approved collective bargaining and allowed us to move forward with our case. We think the evidence in the case shows that the mayor’s team never intended to negotiate with us in good faith. From city hall to the courthouse, the mayor’s vindictive, taxpayer-funded obsession with punishing Houston firefighters and our families continues.”
Houston voters approved Chapter 174 collective bargaining for Houston firefighters 2003. The law has governed wage rates for Texas public safety personnel for four decades, Before 2017, the HPFFA has successfully negotiated several contracts with the city.
Earlier this year, Texas labor leaders, led by Texas AFL-CIO President Rick Levy, warned Turner of the “dangerous implications” of his position in the firefighter litigation. The mayor’s constitutionality argument, Levy wrote, risks “wide ranging consequences to the detriment of many thousands of Texas working
people and their families.”
The case is “Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association, Local 341 v. City of Houston, Texas,” Cause No. 2017-42885 in the 234th District Court of Harris County, Texas. The HPFFA is represented in the litigation by E. Troy Blakeney.
“The Mayor’s vindictive treatment of firefighters is bad for Houston,” said Dolcefino Consulting president Wayne Dolcefino. “It’s time Houstonians wake up to what kind of Mayor this guy is.”
Houston lobbyist Cindy Clifford thinks Sylvester Turner is the best Mayor in the land. At least that’s what she claims on Instagram all the time.
No accounting for taste, but here is a chance for the “Best Mayor in the Land” to prove ethics matters. A chance for him to prove my suspicions wrong.
Order an investigation into Cindy Clifford today to see if she’s breaking the law on lobbying reporting. We are waiting.
Houston City Hall lobbyists have to register and account for the money they spend trying to influence our public officials. Cindy Clifford is a lobbyist for some big players, including Republic Waste, Yellow Cab, Kelsey Seybold, Comcast, Cigna, Andrews Kurth, RPS Klotz Associates, HOK, and SP Plus Corporation to name a few.
When we were investigating that plum hand-picked government job the Mayor’s daughter Ashley Turner got from Lone Star College a few months ago, we noticed on Instagram Cindy Clifford had hosted a party, along with CenterPoint Lobbyist Elizabeth Brock, to celebrate the cool $85,000 a year job Ashley got without having to go through the trouble the rest of us do competing with anyone else.
Maybe Clifford and Brock think Ashley is the best Mayor’s daughter in the land.
We also found this invitation to Ashley’s 30th birthday party in January 2017, hosted again by guess who? Cindy Clifford and Elizabeth Brock.
On July 4th, 2018, Cindy Clifford hosted a fireworks party the Mayor attended, and after Christmas there’s yet another Clifford hosted party where the Mayor and the Police Chief both came. Food and Drink count in lobbyist reporting by the way, but Cindy probably knows that.
“I love parties, and I know the Mayor is itchin’ to come to my next bash,” says Wayne Dolcefino, President of Dolcefino Consulting. “Oh, wait a minute, I am not trying to influence him to give me and my clients contracts. Think he’ll say no?”
Cindy Clifford also hosted a luncheon on May 8th, 2017 for someone who isn’t related to the Mayor but is clearly an important public official in her own right.
Marvalette Hunter became Mayor Turner’s Chief of Staff on April 3, 2017, and Cindy, who already thinks Sylvester is the “best Mayor in the land” must have been all exuberant that Marvalette was now working for him.
Today we asked to see all the documents showing any expenditures by Cindy Clifford since January 1, 2017. There aren’t any.
“So maybe the City Secretary, the City Attorney and the Mayor haven’t read up on ethics laws recently, but did you know it’s a crime to not properly disclose expenditures made to influence city officials and their families,” says Wayne Dolcefino, President of Dolcefino Consulting. “Oh, I know, Cindy Clifford isn’t a lobbyist when she’s entertaining the Mayor and his daughter, she’s just a buddy who thinks he is the best Mayor in the land and loves the first daughter too. Paleeze. If that’s a loophole there isn’t a lobbyist in town who wouldn’t become convinced this is the “best Mayor in the land.”
Maybe in between attacking Houston firefighters who risk their butts for his family and mine, the Mayor could order an immediate review of all City Hall lobbyists to see who is reporting the money they spend on public officials and their families.
He could direct the Houston City Attorney Ron Lewis to fight for transparency. Oh, wait a minute, Lewis is the City Attorney who has let the Mayor get away with illegally withholding public records.
To be fair, Cindy Clifford is not just a lobbyist. The best Mayor in the land appointed her as a member of the powerful Harris County-Houston Sports Authority and she got a piece of the lucrative Houston airport food concessions contract. Clifford runs a PR firm that must have some expertise in airport food too.
Maybe Dolcefino Consulting should offer to throw a lunch for Sylvester or Ashley or Marvalette. We could post it on social media. Cindy likes to talk about her political entertaining.
“Maybe I could even get appointed to lead the effort to find all the waste, fraud and abuse in city contracts, so we can pay the firefighters what they deserve,” says Dolcefino. “We can start by cutting out any contracts which may be going to his law partner, his college pals, or his friends.”
Early voting starts today in Harris County and there are some things Dolcefino Consulting wants you to remember before you head out to the polls.
On the ballot after the congressional and gubernatorial races, there are judicial races – a lot of them.
You can go to www.dolcefino.com\family and view the campaign finance reports on each and every sitting Harris County Family District Court Judge.
Take a look and see which attorneys are backing certain judges. Seeing who’s lining the pockets of judges may help you decide who to vote for or not vote for.
Before heading to the polls make sure you are fully informed and know as much as possible about the candidates that are asking for your vote. Take a look at our Family Injustice Investigation and see who deserves your vote, because there are some family judges who clearly don’t.
Head over to the Houston Bar Association’s website and look at the 2018 Judicial Preference Poll and the 2017 Judicial Evaluation Questionnaire Results. The poll is conducted in election years and the judicial evaluation questionnaire is conducted in non-election years. The poll and the questionnaire are an educational service to the public and the legal profession, provided by the Houston Bar Association. (Find the evaluation here and the preference poll here.)
Don’t forget to go to www.dolcefino.com\family and check out the campaign finance forms to see who’s behind the money.
La Griglia on West Gray is where a lot of important people go to have lunch. It’s where Sylvester Turner’s buddy Cindy Clifford threw a luncheon a few weeks back for Ashley Turner, the Mayor’s daughter.
A celebration of her new job with Lonestar Community College.
Clifford is the chair for the Mayor’s inaugural committee.
Ever heard of the term, “Quid Pro Quo?” – it means, to give so that you will give. In other words, I scratch your back and you’ll scratch mine.
News of Ashley Turner’s appointed job for the community college is raising lots of eyebrows on social media. Let’s see, ya think the Lone Star Folks are buying some connections with the gig for the Mayor’s daughter?
But, back to the food…
Also in attendance at Turner’s back scratching luncheon was Houston First CEO, David Mincberg, and Elizabeth Brock, a lobbyist for CenterPoint Energy. Even Houston Fire Chief Sam Pena was there to congratulate Ashley on her new “job” appointment. Pena was there scratching Sly’s back before he had to turn on his own firefighters on the pay parity fight.
Let’s also not forget about Clifford lobby’s for Republic Waste. Maybe the next time you see the Mayor you can ask why all the hurricane debris, no matter where it was, all seemed to end up in Republic landfills… But, we digress.
You got it – so the Mayor and all his buddies held a fancy celebration for Ashley getting a $84,000 a year government job, a job that no one else even got to apply for, because she was appointed by the Special Assistant to the Chancellor.
So, what’s the next stop on the City Hall “Quid Pro Quo” train?