For more than two years, the FBI has been probing for evidence of fraud and campaign corruption at Cypress Creek Emergency Medical Services, according to an investigative consultant who has also been scrutinizing the CCEMS.
The federal investigation includes a review of the campaigns of three safety commissioners who were elected to Harris County’s Emergency Services District #11 to oversee the Cypress Creek EMS multi-million-dollar ambulance contract.
Those commissioners also ran a campaign ad “pledging allegiance” to never replace CCEMS with another ambulance firm — a curious move for those who are supposed to be policing the ambulance system.
“You know, there’s been all of this talk about Russia and collusion but this is the real collusion,” said Wayne Dolcefino of Dolcefino Consulting. “We elected safety commissioners over these ambulance services so they would watch the taxpayer’s money. But what Cypress Creek does is to help pick the people that will police them. Now that’s real collusion.”
Federal law says it is a violation for a charity such as CCEMS to get involved with the election of those who would police it, but documents show CCEMS did exactly that and its workers helped elect the three candidates they supported.
“People need to know what’s happening in north Harris County,” Dolcefino said. “These [ambulance services] have become these huge bureaucracies.”
Records also show:
- Legal invoices that reveal five law firms have billed more than $105,000 dealing with the grand jury investigation by the FBI. That does not include hundreds of thousands of dollars spent by Cypress Creek EMS to fight the FBI, and the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.
- That EMS #11 officials have been digging in their heels to keep from releasing payroll records, one of the common public records in Texas.
- That EMS #11 Commissioners recently voted to bill taxpayers $13,000 to reimburse Commissioners for their criminal defense bills in connection with the FBI probe.
Dolcefino has been fighting for years for some of these records, including subpoenas, documents related to a sexual harassment case, and other items.
“We have been working on putting this together,” said Robin Bobbitt, who serves at the EMS #11 attorney, speaking at a recent safety commissioners meeting.
“It’s not quite as easy as it might seem because some of these items are exempted,” Bobbitt said. “We feel like there are portions of this that we should not provide to him or that we do not have to provide to him.”
Dolcefino feels the EMS #11 commissioners are fighting the release of records to hide them — even basic, clearly open records.
“To fight the release of payroll records? Really?,” asked Dolcefino. “Taxpayers pay the salaries of the Cypress Creek people. But they won’t tell anyone who’s on the payroll. How much they make. That’s insane.”
Cypress Creek faces a criminal trial in April for refusing to hand over the payroll records.
Trent Seibert can be reached at [email protected] or at 832-258-6119.