Law firm accused of faking notary signatures, City of Waco refuses to disclose developer, TX workforce commission passes rule written by lobbyists

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Week in Review: 3.25.2019

La Joya ISD parts ways with superintendent, College admissions scandal affects Texas schools, Renewed focus on voter fraud results in new bills.

Posted by The Texas Monitor on Monday, March 25, 2019

To all appearances, House Bill 1695’s easy trip through a Texas House committee was one of the less interesting things that happened at the state capitol last week. Supporters described it as just as bit of regulatory house-cleaning, moving responsibility for a boring task from one agency to another.

The City of Waco wants to shower as much as $5 million in tax incentives on a developer who has proposed building a $25 million family entertainment and restaurant complex, but officials are refusing to name the developer.

A law firm that for decades has represented governments across the state in collecting delinquent taxes is accused of improperly “robo-signing” hundreds of legal documents over the last several years, calling into question the legitimacy of millions of dollars in tax enforcement actions.

The Texas Workforce Commission is being criticized for rules passed Tuesday that were allegedly written by lobbyists for one of the nation’s top “gig economy” companies — that is, firms like Uber that operate through phone apps and the internet, with a workforce made up almost completely of independent contractors.

A federal grand jury this week indicted four alleged key conspirators — three of them city officials — for years of bribery, fraud and money laundering involving $50 million in inflated contracts to rebuild the Weslaco water treatment plant in South Texas.


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