Dolcefino Consulting

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Sylvester Turner announced he wants to raise the City of Houston revenue cap–That’s how career politicians hide their requests for tax increases in politician speech.

“Turner will raise taxes on Houston families,” says Houston mayoral candidate Ben Hall. “Houstonians are paying enough. They demand City Hall be more efficient and accountable.”

Turner has outlined his plan to raise taxes to hire more police. But the community should look at what he did not say and why!

  • Ben Hall wants a civilian review board, with subpoena powers, to add transparency to probable police disciplinary violations. Turner is silent.
  • Ben Hall wants video recordings of police confrontations reviewed within 24 hours by an independent panel. Turner is silent.
  • Ben Hall wants to allow the public to be able to file sworn complaints at public libraries and other city buildings if they feel intimidated by the police. Turner is silent.
  • Ben Hall will post sustained excessive force complaints against police online by badge number. Turner is silent.
  • Ben Hall will require drug and alcohol testing of every officer who uses deadly force that causes death or serious bodily injury to assure the public no improper influences contributed to the use of such force. Turner is silent.

There is a reason for the silence!

“Sylvester Turner is a career politician who has long been financed by the Houston Police Union,” says Hall. “Special interests have ruled Houston long enough.”

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Houston Mayoral Candidate Ben Hall today unveiled his comprehensive plan to promote accountability of Houston Police Officers to the public in the wake of heightened distrust of law enforcement across the country.

“Too many of our children are dying at the hands of police under questionable circumstances and too many citizens simply do not trust the police,” says Hall. “Such distrust will only lead to more bad consequences, and more funerals.”

“Let me be clear. Both citizens and the officers of the Houston Police Department are entitled to respect. We need police to protect us from criminals. Our officers’ loved ones want them to come home safe at night, and we need to ensure encounters between police and our communities do not begin for the wrong reasons or end in unnecessary death.”

To enhance more trust and respect, Hall released his initiative called L.E.A.P. — which stands for Law Enforcement Accountability Policy:

LAW ENFORCEMENT ACCOUNTABILITY POLICY

I. An effective and independent Citizen Police Review Board will be empaneled. This nine member board will be empowered with subpoena power, and will have three members chosen from the community, one member from the business community, two members from the judiciary, two members from the law enforcement community and a member representing the Mayor’s office.

II. Houston Police Officers will be required to appear before the Citizens Police Review Board on probable violation cases to directly answer questions about departmental policy violations lodged against them.

III. Every HPD officer interacting with the public on the streets will be equipped with and required to wear a body camera, with open microphones, to record every interaction. Any deliberate attempt to compromise the recordings will be grounds for disciplinary action, including termination.

IV. Every HPD officer will be required to provide his/her badge number upon being request to do so by any citizen, unless doing so would jeopardize the safety of the officer or another. The badge number must be provided, however, as soon as is reasonably possible without posing risk to the officer or another.

V. Confirmed excessive force complaints against officers will be posted on-line by badge number, along with a summary of the complaints and findings.

VI. Any police officer using deadly force that causes death or serious bodily injury will be required to submit to immediate drug and alcohol testing. A positive test will be grounds for immediate disciplinary action, including termination.

VII. Houston Police Officers will not become unreasonably rude or escalate conflicts with the public, nor shall they intentionally place themselves in harm’s way to invite the use of deadly force.

VIII. Any Houston Police Officer who covers up for another officer’s wrongdoing will be held accountable for the same violation as the offending officer for whom he or she covered up.

IX. Dash Camera and Body Camera video of any altercation in which a citizen is charged with assault on a police officer or resisting arrest will be submitted to and/or reviewed by the Citizen Police Review Board members within 24 hours after written reports are filed.

X. Sworn complaints against any Houston Police Officer may be filed at any public library or public city building. Citizens who file false complaints on law enforcement officers will be investigated and charged with the crime of filing a false report.

We no longer have the luxury of absolute trust of police officers. This is a regrettable fact, but one that needn’t persist. With these policy enhancements it is hoped that the deserved trust of out police officers will be re-established.

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Houston Mayoral Candidate Ben Hall will hold a news conference Tuesday, August 11th at 2:00 pm to unveil a comprehensive accountability policy for Houston Police.

Hall’s announcement comes amidst new protests in Ferguson, Missouri and another controversial police shooting in Arlington, Texas.

“Too many of our children are dying at the hands of police under questionable circumstances and too many citizens simply do not trust the police,” says Hall. “Houston needs to lead the nation on reform so that police encounters do not begin for the wrong reasons or end in unnecessary deaths.”

Ben is uniquely qualified to lead this reform. As a former City Attorney under Mayor Bob Lanier he understands the cost to taxpayers of litigation relating to alleged police brutality. As a private attorney he represented Chad Holley in a police brutality case.

To enhance trust and mutual respect, Hall will detail his initiative called L.E.A.P. — which stands for Law Enforcement Accountability Policy.

Full details of the plans will be released tomorrow, and L.E.A.P. will include mandatory body cameras and a Civilian Review Board with subpoena powers.

The news conference will begin at 2:00 pm at the Hall Law Firm at 530 Lovett Blvd. Media inquiries should be directed to Dolcefino Consulting at 713-389-0810.

Some folks just don’t want to play by the rules.

When the Chambers Liberty County Navigation District cut a smelly deal to give a local politician a virtual monopoly of the oyster crop in Galveston Bay, audio tapes proved they violated state transparency laws.

So the Navigation District voted again a few months ago, and this time they refused to let the public hear a tape of the public meeting where they did it.

On August 5th, 2014 the Texas Attorney General ruled the navigation district should cough the tape up. The Attorney General cited the law that seems pretty easy to translate, even for those appointed navigation commissioners who appear to need a refresher course on the Texas Open Meetings Act.

“The minutes and recordings of an open meeting are public records and shall be available for public inspection and copying on request to the governmental body.”

As of August 11, 2015 Dolcefino Consulting is still waiting.

“The failure of the Chambers County Attorney and District Attorney to force the navigation district to follow the law should be an eye opener for voters in Chambers County”, says Wayne Dolcefino, President of Dolcefino Consulting. “I know they are big on home cooking down there in Anahuac, but perhaps they should put down the cookbooks and pick up the law books.”

The State of Texas sued the navigation district last week alleging the oyster deal was illegal. The head of the company that worked out the deal with CLCND is Judge Tracy Woody, who gets a salary from taxpayers even though he rarely goes to the courthouse.

Some folks just don’t like to play by the rules.

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“Enough”

Mayoral candidate Ben Hall says Houstonians have simply had enough.

“Mayor Parker misleads voters on the rain tax, tries to deny people the right to vote on the HERO ordinance, and now when the highest court in the state tells her to just stop it, she acts like a spoiled child and plays more games.”

Hall called on Houston City Council to change the ballot language immediately.

“The Mayor wanted ballot language to confuse voters. That speaks volumes about this Mayor and why Houstonian’s should reject all career politicians.”

Houston Attorney Andy Taylor will hold a news conference Friday morning, August 6th to announce a NEW legal challenge to the ballot language for the November HERO Election.

“This Mayor continues to demonstrate an embarrassingly callous disregard for the Constitution,” says Taylor. “We warned her that the ballot language she insisted upon was dead on arrival from a legal perspective. Parker has left us with no choice but to ask the Texas Supreme Court to send her another clear message.”

Wednesday the Houston City Council voted to put the HERO ordinance question on the ballot, but the Mayor decided to play games with the language in an effort to confuse voters on the effect of a “Yes” or “No” vote.

The Houston City Charter specifically requires the Mayor City Council to submit HERO in such a manner that it shall not take effect unless a majority of the qualified voters voting thereon at such election shall vote in favor thereof. This, if a voter is in favor of HERO, they are supposed to vote “Yes,” while a voter who is against HERO is supposed to vote “No.” But that’s
not what this lawless Mayor did. To the contrary, she intentionally reversed the ballot language in such a way that a vote in favor is a “No” vote and a vote against is a “Yes” vote. The ballot language will force voters to vote on whether to repeal the ordinance, rather than voting on whether to adopt the HERO ordinance.

“This double negative ballot language is no accident. Parker knows polls show most Houstonians are against the HERO ordinance, but they will have to now vote yes. It is confusing, even to members of City Council and the Mayor knows that. It is sad she continues to waste taxpayer money playing games.”

Obviously time is of the essence in this writ of mandamus action. The proper ballot language must be in place before the end of the month to get absentee ballots prepared.

The news conference will be held at 10:00 am at the Hilton Post Oak, 2001 Post Oak Blvd.

uptownbusMETRO is spending millions on that controversial Uptown bus project, but now some board members are starting to question key details of the $300 million deal.

A powerful state lawmaker asked the attorney general to decide if digging up Post Oak for bus lanes is a violation of the 2003 election where voters chose rail.

“I don’t know how much money we are spending on a regular basis on this project, but we might wait on that ruling before we spend very much money,” says Metro Board Member Diann Lewter.

Uptown officials just keep spending: $150,000 in three months just on the PR campaign. More on lawyers and consultants.

That begs the question. If the project is ruled illegal, who is going to pay the taxpayers back? Will Mayor Parker?

METRO officials are now admitting they don’t even know if buses will be able to maneuver down the two lanes as designed, and Uptown ridership projections are being reviewed after Dolcefino Consulting showed them to be inflated.

“We already know some of the people who want to tear up Post Oak stand to make money on this deal, and with these new questions it is time for the Mayor to tell her Uptown friends to pull the plug,” says Jim Scarborough of the Uptown Property Owners Association.

METRO is set to release new ridership projection in mid-August.

logo-benhall01Houston Mayor Annise Parker and her lawyers have embarrassed this city and taxpayers may end up paying the consequences. She has proven she will violate the constitution, city charter, and God’s pulpits for her personal agenda.

Today’s civil rights lawsuit is a direct result of city lawyers playing politics with the law. Frankly, this is another disgusting situation created by this mayor.

The right to vote is fundamental. Separation of church and state is sacred.

Subpoenaing the sermons of Houston religious leaders and ignoring the signed petitions of tens of thousands of Houstonians are reckless and arrogant acts.

Any mayoral candidate accepting Mayor Parker’s endorsement or support must be viewed with suspicion. We have too many critical issues to fix: finances, roads, crime, police relations, flooding and pensions.

If you trust me with your vote, I will honor the law and respect the rights of all Houstonians.

We do not need another professional politician.

Mr. Hall is available for media requests. Please contact Wayne Dolcefino at Dolcefino Consulting by e-mail wayne@dolcefino.com, 713-389-0810.

Religious leaders from across Houston will announce major legal action against Houston Mayor Annise Parker.

The news conference will take place at 10:00 am Monday, August 3rd at the Hilton Post Oak.

These religious leaders were targeted by the mayor during the HERO lawsuit fight. They fought back against the religious assault by Houston City Hall. They resisted when their sermons were subpoenaed.

Now they are fighting back with a demand for accountability, joined by a leading religious voice from Acres Homes who fought in court to have the right to vote on HERO.
Attorney Andy Taylor, fresh from two major legal victories against Houston City Hall, will address the media on these serious civil rights violations and the repercussions on Houston City Hall.

The Hilton Post Oak is located at 2001 Post Oak Blvd.

For information contact Dolcefino Consulting at 713-389-0810 or wayne@dolcefino.com.

On July 28th, 2015 a private company called STORM issued a written warning to the State of Texas.

STORM said their company now controlled 23,000 acres of Galveston Bay, not the people of Texas, and they announced they would stop any other fishermen from harvesting oysters. The acreage represents about half the total oyster population in Galveston Bay.

Before the week ended, the State filed a lawsuit, warning STORM they would pay for the potential damage to the natural resources of Texas, calling their claim to the bay bottom totally illegal.

Now the real showdown begins.

Prestige Oysters has already accused STORM Boats of harassing their boats, delaying the rescue of tens of thousands of baby oysters which have now died. Game wardens have already been monitoring the growing oyster battle.

Prestige has now announced plans to plant the rocks needed to cultivate new oysters on a lease they have from the State of Texas. The lease is in territory STORM claims it now controls.

“My family will not be intimidated. We will guard our investment and we count on the game wardens to protect us,” says Lisa Halili.

STORM owners claim they are now the bosses of the bay, citing a lease they got from the Chambers Liberty County Navigation District. The state sued the navigation district too. The navigation district board members are appointed by local politicians. The owner of STORM is a local judge, who is on the taxpayers’ payroll in Chambers County even though he rarely goes to a courtroom.

Dolcefino Consulting has also filed a lawsuit, accusing CLCND of violating Texas transparency laws. CLCND also refuses to release an audio tape of a public meeting.

“The silence of the Chambers County attorney and District Attorney to this smelly deal is embarrassing,” says Dolcefino.

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