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You can’t stop Dave Wilson

You can only hope to restrain him.

Dave Wilson

Dave Wilson

The battle over whether Dave Wilson is actually a Houston Community College trustee could come to a head on Thursday when the 67-year-old tries to take the seat behind the District II placard on the board’s dais.

“I’m going to represent the citizens of my district,” Wilson said Friday after a hearing on his residency. “I’m going to sit up front, vote and do the whole thing. I might even lobby to become chair.”

Wilson, a small-business owner and anti-gay activist, spoke after an hourlong hearing about the procedural machinations of a lawsuit the Harris County Attorney’s Office filed last month.

County Attorney Vince Ryan is alleging that Wilson was not legally elected to the board in November because he is not a resident of the district in which he ran.

A temporary restraining order issued in December prohibited Wilson from taking the oath of office, but Wilson filed notarized paperwork last week with the Texas Secretary of State’s Office showing he was sworn in on Jan. 1.

State District Judge Mike Englehart on Friday asked lawyers for Wilson and the county to file additional arguments about whether Wilson can take office while the lawsuit is being litigated, among other issues.

[...]

First Assistant County Attorney Robert Soard said the restraining order prohibits Wilson from taking the oath of office, so he is not a legal office holder.

“In my view, it would be like any citizen walking up there and sitting down,” Soard said. “It would be up to the HCC board to decide what they would do in that situation.”

Whatever else Dave Wilson may think of himself, he’s not the decider here. If Judge Engelhart puts a restraining order in place, he doesn’t get to take his seat, and that’s all there is to it. As I said before, HCC would be wise to have lawyers and security present in the event Wilson is legally barred from taking office at that time. They should explain the status of the court case to him, and for whoever else is present, and be prepared to usher him out the door if he refuses to back down. Until and unless he’s legally cleared to be sworn in by someone other than himself, he’s just another member of the public, and he should be treated as such. Obviously, if Judge Engelhart rules in Wilson’s favor then he gets to be sworn in as normal, but if not he needs to abide by that. The law applies to Dave Wilson, too.

Since it comes up in the comments every time I write about Dave Wilson, let’s be clear that I don’t fear him taking office for a minute. If he actually has evidence of current trustees or contractors or whoever else acting unethically, or if he has some hot ideas for how to improve ethics on the HCC board, great. Bring it on. But until he actually produces such evidence, or an ethics proposal, I see no reason to take him at his word. For a guy who claims to be a paragon of transparency and ethical behavior, he’s shown a remarkable willingness to push the boundaries of the law, to act deceptively for his own gain, and to be closed-mouth about his own personal information. His support of the deeply unethical Yolanda Navarro Flores at the very least calls into question his judgment about what ethical behavior is. I searched election results going back through 2001 and this is the first time he’s even run for an HCC position in that time, so it’s not like he’s some longtime crusader for this job who finally prevailed. He could prove me wrong – anything can happen – and if he does, great. More ethics is a good thing. I just see no reason to have any expectation of this outcome. I see him as a provocateur, and he managed to catch lightning in a bottle. What he does with it if he gets the chance remains to be seen, but my expectations are decidedly low.

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13 Comments

  1. Manuel Barrera says:

    Your comments tend to misinform your readers about people you don’t care for. May I remind you that Ms. Flores is no longer a public figure.

    The deeply unethical Yolanda Navarro Flores, where did you get the information? Did you do research? I will once again ask you to provide where Ms. Flores was unethical. You have not done so because there is no evidence of such behavior.

    If you are relying on the Chronicle they were wrong. The writer of those articles was and is a writer that does not check her facts. Sounds familiar because you Kuffner do the same thing.

    Provide the proof of your malicious and false statement about Ms. Flores, don’t point at an article and say there are the facts.

    I have spent three years doing open records request and have the entire Veselka file, there is corruption at HCC but it was your friends that were behind it. Numerous employees were fired for speaking out about it. Some employees who were willing to spread rumors and lies were richly rewarded.

  2. Gary Fernandez says:

    There’s a long laundry list of Yolanda Navarro Flores’ unethical dealings and corruptions. Here’s one that went all the way back in 2004 when she was fined by the Texas Ethics Commission for unlawful acceptance of political contributions to the excess of $35,000. Her family was also named as part of conspirators. More to come to add to the Yolanda Navarro Flores’ list of unlawful corruptions.

    http://www.ethics.state.tx.us/sworncomp/2004/240446.pdf

  3. Oscar Ortega says:

    We agree with Kuff.

    HCC, the public, and media do not fear Dave Wilson. HCC has suffered enough with the worst board of trustees in the history of community colleges. We don’t need another clown on the board, with no intention to elevate the quality of education, but to distract the real work of HCC which is to serve their students and community.

    Herlinda Garcia, Yolanda Flores, Carroll Robinson have brought shame and disgrace to their board peers by being corrupted racists. Bruce Austin needs to retire and help his community select a deserving candidate who will bring a new era of ethic board reform.

    Manuel Barrera can benefit by enrolling at HCC to improve writing skills instead of spending all his years and waking hours ranting about HCC.

  4. Mainstream says:

    Barrera’s comment that Ms. Flores is no longer a public figure is a legal argument, designed to pressure Kuffner and others to back off of their comments regarding her ethics on the grounds that they are now subject to a different and more lenient legal standard for libel than before.

    I doubt that is the law at all. I doubt that a former state legislator and HCC officeholder ceases to be a public figure subject to a malicious-only legal standard regarding libel just because the voters kick her out of office. My expectation is that once you seek and serve in office, your are permanently a public figure.

  5. Dan O'Hara says:

    You make a big point of the restraining order but I question if you really read it. Why haven’t you mentioned it was filed at the last minute prior to the courts closing for the year. Why haven’t you mentioned that Mr. Wilson or his attorney Keith Gross were not notified to be at the hearing and it was done behind closed doors. What’s legal and what’s ethical is really being tested in this case, by all sides.
    I hope the media keeps a close eye on this as voters and candidates rights are at stake. When laws are applied unequally it discrimination.

  6. Gary Fernandez says:

    Another unpaid fine ($35,700) – Yolanda Navarro Flores was ordered to pay HCC for attorney’s fees after she lost the defamation lawsuit she filed against HCC. So far, HCC is still waiting for this fine to be paid by Yolanda.

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/62651070/HCC-trustee-libel-suit

    http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/HCC-trustee-Flores-liable-for-legal-fees-after-2408246.php

  7. Yvonne Larsen says:

    Vince Ryan has opened Pandora’s Box. What a ton of fun it will be in 2014 to file requests for investigations into HCC Trustee Olivers residence ( he has a voter registration at one address while his wife has hers at another). Why not launch an investigation into the folks registered to vote at the KPRC building on the SW Freeway? Or the people registered to vote at the Harris County Administration building? Or the big GOP donor with a residence in a commercial building in Montgomery County? Or the voters in The Woodlands RUD? Go investigate those apartments at 1400 Lubbock, that is the City of Houston Municipal Court Building ; bbwwaa!!!!

  8. Gary Fernandez says:

    More Yolanda Navarro Flores corruption…

    Interwoven ethics problems at Houston ISD, Houston Community College, port authority, Harris County — all one big ball of string
    Thursday, Aug 25, 2011, 10:16AM CST
    http://www.texaswatchdog.org/taxonomy/term/18?page=6

    …….the internal investigation at HCC also found that a major contractor for the college, Fort Bend Mechanical, had hired as subcontractors three firms tied to three college trustees: the pharmacy tech’s firm tied to Abel Dávila, the son of Trustee Yolanda Navarro Flores, and a property management company run by Trustee Chris Oliver…..

  9. Manuel Barrera says:

    Ethics violations do make one corrupt if they do then Jessica Farrar is corrupt, Senator Whitmire is Corrupt, Judge Elaine Palmer is corrupt, Mayor Annise Parker is corrupt, there is a long list of elected officials that have had to pay ethics violtaions.

    If losing a law suit makes one corrupt there are millions of corrupt individuals.

    Some people keep posting lies as to what Larry Veselka found.

    If you can’t win an argument challenge their grammar, call them racists. The fact is the two persons that seem to hate Yolanda Navarro Flores are full of it. I wonder what drives their hate?

    Read the Veselka report. Read the Veselka interviews, they are all posted at http://www.insidehccs.com

    Vesekla did not find that Flores’ son was part of any HCC contract. The Censure by HCC was worded that way, but that does not make it true.

    Spreading lies can get you in court, Mr. Mainstream.

    Engineers and Lawyers hire English majors.

    Read about what Chris Oliver did, including soliciting work from HCC vendors who were working at HCC. Read how Chris Oliver was on Ft. Bend payroll while voting for them. Read how Chris Oliver solicited Super Bowl tickets from a vendor.

    Three major beneficiaries of contracts were close friends of Richard Schechter, over 20 million dollars in contracts to them. Mr. Schechter misspoke about certain documents related to the Veselka report.

    Art Tyler accused Neeta Sane of trying to get him and Spangler fired if a certain vendor did not get work.

    Ask yourselves why is that only one person was targeted?

    Art Tyler and Mary Spangler were deeply involved in pushing for Chevron Energy and violated bid laws to get them the contract.

    Is it coincidence that after HCC that Chevron then got an HISD contract?

    As to Texas Watchdog once I showed them that what the Chronicle was publishing was false they quit using the Chronicle to attack Yolanda Navarro Flores.

    Look at Art Tyler’s interview, the company that he has tied to Neeta Sane also is a subcontractor with Jacobs at HISD, coincidence?

    Read Bobby Singh interview and ask why was Chris Oliver not censured? That part of the investigation was not submitted to the DA, why?

    If you have to hate, hate, but don’t spread lies.

    Ask yourself why Terry O’Rourke sent a letter to the federal judge contradicting what the federal indictment had? He did it while employed with the County Attorney, Ryan.

    Ask yourself why Steve Radack supported Vince Ryan over Talton?

    Ask yourselves what are they trying to hide at HCC?

    The link above about HISD and HCC opens up with possible corruption of the teacher’s union. There are ties to El Franco Lee, to Chris Oliver.

    The part that was used to attack Diana Davila was in regards to her wanting to appoint her husband to the bond oversite committee. That committee had no power.

    Fernandez can’t even get the facts right, Ft. Bend did not hire the companies. Ft. Bend was a subcontractor to Chevron. He did have Chris Oliver on payroll.

    There quite a few administrators that have benefited from the corruption and I expect they want every thing to go away, but it won’t.

    Who exposed that Art Tyler and Mary Spangler paid themselves for overtime after Hurricane Ike? Yolanda Navarro Flores. Both Spangler and Tyler were in Brazil during that time.

    Who exposed that Art Tyler was paid vacation time? Yolanda Navarro Flores.

    Who exposed that Art Tyler and Mary Spangler had set up a company (iCEPS) that could have benefited from the Qatar contract? Yolanda Navarro Flores.

    The question is how are the people that went after Yolanda Navarro Flores benefiting personally by not having questions asked?

  10. Eric Weinmann says:

    Off the top of my head, I count 9 current or recent elected officials from the Houston area who lie about their address to claim residency for the purpose of holding office.

    Wilson is in good company with two state reps, a former state senator and a nice selection on city council.

    I’m all for calling in the rule of law for Wilson, but let’s not establish a double standard and go after them all.

  11. Dan O'Hara says:

    What happened in court today? Is Dave Wilson on the board? In Texas, is taking the oath a formality or legality. This should all be clarified prior to the HCC Trustees meeting Thursday to prevent possible misunderstandings.

  12. Manuel Barrera says:

    Dan I talked to Dave a little while ago, he was invited to the in-service on Wednesday and received a packet with HCC material late today. Both Dave and I assume that HCC is now accepting him.

    Vince Ryan is the tail and from what we are hearing the two dogs wagging the tail are Steve Radack and El Franco Lee.

    We understand that Judge Emmett was none too happy to find out that all those people were using his office as a residence, “They are not even my employees”.

    Next week complaints will be filed on registered voters from State Rep Armando Walle’s house. Have reason to believe that at least one them has a homestead at another district.

    There is one HCC Trustee that has claimed to live at one location but voted from another. There will be a complained filed against that trustee.

  13. Gary Fernandez says:

    So, Barrera, has Flores paid her debt of $35,700 yet? It’s been two years since the ruling, and HCC hasn’t seen a penny.

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