Houston City Hall deals, felons allowed on Dallas volunteer boards and campaign finance report fines


Four months after Houston City Hall sent out requests for proposals for engineering firms to study a downtown connection to a bullet train that would zip from Houston to Dallas, a close family friend of Mayor Sylvester Turner secured a $5,000 per month contract with bullet train company, Texas Central. The family friend — Maya Ford — even asked Turner for advice on negotiating the contract

The Dallas City Council has removed the city code provision prohibiting individuals with multiple felony convictions from serving on volunteer boards. Instead, board applicants will have their criminal background searched back to when they were teenagers.

More than 260 candidates owe the state of Texas $1.1 million in fines for failing to file legally required campaign finance reports. Loopholes in enforcement make it difficult to collect the fines or punish the delinquents.

University of Texas President Gregory Fenves and his wife flew numerous times in premium class — business or first — using public money, despite policy explicitly prohibiting it, an audit has found.

Also this week:

Bell County judge claims harassment from Killeen PD

Austin City Council extends city employees’ paid sick leave without estimated taxpayer cost

The triumphant rise and tragic fall of Carlos Urest

Audit: ICE’s South Texas detention deal not in best interest of taxpayers, detainees

Docs: Army Corps of Engineers knew of Harvey’s risks, but didn’t tell public

Have a tip? Contact Editor Trent Seibert at [email protected]


  1. Meanwhile trash like Ted Cruz, John Cornyn, and Dan Patrick make millions while you roll around petty garbage like this? Is this about Texas or people you don’t like?

  2. I see nothing wrong with relaxing the background check for Dallas’ volunteer board; especially when the felonies occurred 20-something years ago. You present it as if any semblance of impropriety automatically condemns the action. People can have blips on their records that do not define them.


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