Mayor Turner Loses War In Campaign Of Secrecy
Dolcefino Consulting won a major court victory for Houstonians Monday. A Houston Judge delivered a gut punch to Mayor Sylvester Turner’s campaign of secrecy to hide city recycling and landfill contracts.
Judge Kristen Hawkins of the 11th District Court signed an order demanding the City of Houston release public records the Turner administration has been hiding. She has given the city a deadline of 5:00 p.m. Monday, June 17th, 2019.
The city legal department had simply ignored our request for records on February 12, 2019 seeking e-mail communications and landfill contracts. It was the latest attempt by the Mayor to hide the lucrative garbage deals from Houstonians.
Dolcefino Consulting has been fighting with the City of Houston since December 2016, nearly two and a half years, trying to expose how a company called EcoHub was denied a recycling contract at the last minute that could have saved Houstonians millions of dollars and helped pay for firefighter pay raises.
The investigation has already exposed evidence the Turner administration solicited a foreign company FCC to build a new recycling plant more than a year before even asking for bids on a new recycling deal.
Councilmembers and the city controller attacked the integrity of the competition. Emails have surfaced even showing one of Turner’s own advisors warned of ethical problems with the Houston garbage director. FBI agents have questioned former city employees.
The Houston City Council had agreed to a deal with EcoHub to recycle all trash during Mayor Annise Parker’s administration that could have led to a reduction in garbage trucks by putting all trash and recycling in the same garbage can. The problems in the garbage fleet are now used by the Turner administration to explain why so many neighborhoods don’t get timely garbage service
The EcoHub deal was sabotaged by Sylvester Turner, who tanked the agreement when he took office, and instead brought in FCC, a foreign company from the UK, to collect the city’s waste.
Dolcefino Consulting requested documents from the city as part of an investigation into the deal. When the city refused to comply, we went to court to fight for the truth.
“Mayor Turner’s administration has been utterly shameless in its fight to keep secrets from Houstonians,” says Wayne Dolcefino, President of Dolcefino Consulting. “Today, a judge has punished the mayor for his secrecy. We applaud Judge Hawkins for fighting for taxpayers.”
Dolcefino Consulting called on the City of Houston to release thousands of other documents they have kept secret on the recycling deal, hurricane contracts, airport concessions and a host of other public records.
“I have never seen a City Hall administration with such a callous disregard for the public right to know,” says Dolcefino. “Judge Kristen Hawkins has given me real encouragement that there are still judges in Harris County who understand the dangers of government secrecy and the importance of transparency,”
Again, the deadline is June 17th, 2019. What are you hiding Mayor?