Claim of HCC trustee living outside her district ‘unfounded,’ DA says

Adriana Tamez
HCC Trustee Adriana Tamez (center) speaks with fellow trustees at last year's VAST Academy graduation.

HOUSTON — The claim that a Houston Community College trustee was illegally living outside the district she is supposed to represent was called “unfounded” by the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, a rebuke to the fellow trustee who filed the complaint.

HCC Trustee Dave Wilson’s complaint against Trustee Adriana Tamez comes after an investigative report paid for by Wilson that showcased numerous public records purporting to demonstrate that Tamez lives in an Allen Parkway high-rise, rather than a modest house on Houston’s Jefferson Street.

“The main reason I filed the complaint is because the people in District 3 don’t have any representation,” Wilson said in a previous interview. “They’re being taxed and they have no representation. I think we fought a revolution over that in one time in our history.”

The DA disagreed, and sent a letter to Tamez clearing her.

“This letter is to inform you that the Public Corruption Division of the Harris County
District Attorney’s office has closed the complaint against you without charges,” a January 11 letter from Assistant District Attorney Paula Hartman stated. “A thorough review of the complaint, evidence, and the law revealed that the complaint was unfounded and that you did not engage in any criminal activity.”

This is another slap to Wilson, who was censured by his fellow trustees last week for what the Board of Trustees, in part, said was Wilson targeting fellow trustees with formal complaints.

The man hired by Wilson who led the team conducting the investigation into Tamez’s residency strongly disagreed with the District Attorney’s findings.

“I think that the letter Paula Hartman sent is outrageous,” said Wayne Dolcefino of Dolcefino Consulting. “I’m calling her out. I want the D.A.’s office to release to the public their investigation; their so-called investigation.”

Dolcefino said it’s unclear how much of an investigation Hartman did.

“We filed a complaint early December,” he said. “We had a big Christmas holiday in between. In early January, the D.A.’s office was done. I want to know what they did.”

Hartman did not respond to a request for comment Monday.

“Adrian Tamez doesn’t live in her district,” Dolcefino contended. “She lives on Allen Parkway. My people signed sworn affidavits based on video surveillance and their own two eyes, as well as public records. Is Paula Hartman calling my people liars?”

Tamez provided the documentation showing the D.A. clearing her. She did not respond for a request for an interview.

Wilson, too, has had residency issues filed against him in the past, with county officials claiming he resided out of his district.

He won in court on the residency issues.

Trent Seibert can be reached at [email protected] or at 832-258-6119.

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Trent is an award-winning editor and reporter, who has previously worked The Denver Post, The (Nashville) Tennessean, and the San Diego Union-Tribune. Most recently, he was the investigative producer for Houston’s KTRK-TV ABC-13. He was also the editor and founder of Texas Watchdog, a ground-breaking news group that paved the way for this project. Trent is a teacher of journalism skills, and has shown hundreds of reporters and citizen-journalists how to use public records, databases and journalism tools to keep a watchful eye on their own local government.



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