Appeals Court Denies Mayor’s Bid To Stall Recycling Records Trial
On January 7, 2019, a jury is set to decide how much the City of Houston owes Dolcefino Consulting lawyers for keeping records of city recycling deals a secret.
Monday, December 30th, the First Court of Appeals denied the City Legal Department’s emergency motion to stop the trial but has still not ruled on a second legal maneuver to stop the planned jury trial set for next week.
The last-minute legal moves by the City included yet another attack on District Judge Kristen Hawkins, but the real laughter was the city argument they don’t want to waste taxpayer money.
“It would require the city to expend additional public resources preparing and appearing for trial,” wrote City lawyer Fernando De Leon.
“That’s the best laugh I have had in a while,” said Wayne Dolcefino, President of Dolcefino Consulting. “The city has fought to keep records secret for years, and now they want to drag this case through yet another appeal, and all because they know any payment over $50,000 will have to be approved by city council and will once again expose this corrupt administration.”
Judge Kristen Hawkins has taken De Leon and Houston City Hall to task more than once during this records fight, calling his claims offensive.
“Your contempt for this court has been very well noted. This is not the first time you have taken a position like this and it is offensive and you need to check yourself,” Hawkins said from the bench.
Lawyers for Dolcefino Consulting have spent nearly $200,000 fighting for records detailing the decision to scrap a deal with ECOHUB, a company promising to reduce wear and tear on garbage trucks by recycling all trash for new products.
The investigation has shown the Turner administration was soliciting a foreign company FCC to handle recycling months before issuing a bid for multi-million-dollar contract. Both the controller and members of city council criticized the lack of transparency of the contract.
FCC now has a 15-year contract.
The jury trial between Dolcefino Consulting and the City of Houston is scheduled for January 7th, 2020.
“We are looking forward to getting a jury to send a message to the Mayor that this secrecy nonsense has to stop,” said Dolcefino.