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DA investigating CM Johnson

Oops.

Houston City Councilman Jarvis Johnson’s office pressured city officials to certify a security firm as a minority-owned business to win a lucrative subcontract for the company, which later gave a 40 percent ownership stake to a close Johnson associate, according to e-mails and documents obtained by the Houston Chronicle.

The contract and the councilman’s dealings are under investigation by the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, which last month issued a subpoena to the city seeking information about allegations of “inappropriate contact” between Elite Protective Services and City Council members and potential violations of the city’s ethics policies.

The councilman’s associate, Michael R. Harris, helped arrange for the company, Elite Protective Services, to become a subcontractor for a firm that in 2009 won the city’s two main security jobs worth more than $66 million, according to e-mails obtained by the Chronicle and a lawsuit he filed against the company. Elite Protective Services’ interest in the two contracts is $8.9 million.

Elite officials say they had no knowledge until recently that Johnson or his staff were advocating on their behalf and that they obtained work as subcontractors without the help of Harris, whom the city hired in 2009 as a lobbyist in Austin. They alleged in a countersuit that Harris “continuously stated that a particular City Council member would push to get Elite the subcontract with the city of Houston.”

More on that here. I don’t really have anything to add to this, I just hate to see it happening. Well, that and it’s clearly a good thing CM Johnson didn’t win his primary challenge against Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee this March, as the Democrats have enough trouble to deal with.

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