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Posts Tagged ‘ethics’

Former Stockman aide returns to US

The gang’s all here. Federal agents quietly arrested Jason Posey, a former congressional aide who’d been wanted for two months on charges that he helped ex-U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman carry out a criminal conspiracy to bilk millionaire donors, violate elections laws, and illegally divert hundreds of thousands in campaign cash. Posey and Stockman were both […]

Culberson’s stock purchase

Interesting. In a heated confirmation hearing for then-Georgia U.S. Rep. Tom Price for Secretary of Health and Human Services, Democrats raised pointed questions about the congressman’s trading in stocks of companies regulated by the House committees he serves on. One in particular, Innate Immunotherapeutics, a small Australian biotech firm, generated particular attention because it had […]

Judicial Conduct commission seeks suspension of JP Hilary Green

Holy moley. In an explosive and rare move, Texas judicial authorities on Wednesday asked the Texas Supreme Court to suspend a Harris County justice of the peace accused of paying prostitutes for sex, misusing illegal drugs and ruling unethically in favor of a convicted con man. The sordid list of accusations against Judge Hilary Green, […]

Stockman trial delayed

Alas. Former U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman’s trial on federal corruption charges has been pushed back to next year. The trial, originally scheduled to begin June 5, will now kick off on Jan. 29, 2018, according to an order issued Wednesday by Chief U.S. District Judge Lee Rosenthal. Stockman’s lawyer had requested the delay last week, […]

Stockman trial date set

Mark your calendar. Former U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman is set to go to trial June 5 on federal corruption charges. Stockman, a Houston-area Republican, has pleaded not guilty to charges of funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars in charitable donations to himself and his congressional campaign. He was arraigned Monday. The trial is expected to […]

Stockman pleads not guilty

And we’re off. Standing tall, with his hands hanging loosely at his sides, former U.S. Congressman Steve Stockman told a federal magistrate in Houston Monday he understood the criminal charges against him and pleaded not guilty to theft of about $800,000 in charitable donations intended for conservative organizations and associated charges. Upon Stockman’s request, U.S. […]

Steve Stockman claims he’s broke

Pobrecito. Former Congressman Steve Stockman told a federal magistrate Wednesday he can’t afford to pay for a lawyer to represent him against allegations he helped steal about $800,000 in charitable donations intended for conservative organizations. U.S. Magistrate Judge Nancy Johnson agreed to appoint a lawyer for him and postponed a hearing on his case until […]

A closer look at the Stockman saga

Chron reporter Lise Olson takes a deep dive into the charges against former Congressman and fulltime hot mess Steve Stockman. Steve Stockman was soon to board a plane for the United Arab Emirates this month when his unorthodox life took a sudden detour. The outspoken two-time former congressman from Houston was met at the airport […]

Stockman indicted

And here the troubles begin. Former U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman and a former congressional aide were indicted Tuesday by a federal grand jury on charges they stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from charitable foundations to fund campaigns and pay personal expenses. Stockman, 60, and his former director of special projects, Jason Posey, 46, were […]

Stockman’s first day in court

Oh, this is going to be so much fun. Appearing carefree and relaxed with his wife by his side, former U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman told reporters outside a court hearing downtown Friday that he expected “to be vindicated” on allegations that he conspired with staffers to take $775,000 in donations intended for charitable purposes or […]

More on the Stockman arrest

I’m just going to leave this here. Former U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman, a Republican whose district stretched from Houston to Beaumont, allegedly conspired with two staffers to bilk conservative foundations out of at least $775,000 in donations meant for charitable purposes or voter education, according to federal court records. Details of the alleged scam are […]

Steve Stockman gets busted

Well, lookie here. Former U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, has been charged with violating federal election law. Stockman conspired with former congressional employees to funnel money intended for a charity to his campaign, according to a sworn statement from an FBI agent unsealed Thursday. He is also accused of making false statements to the Federal […]

Former HISD Trustee Marshall found liable in civil bribery lawsuit

Ouch. A bribery lawsuit that kept a cloud of suspicion over the Houston school district for six years ended Wednesday with a jury finding that former board president Larry Marshall participated in a kickback scheme that caused millions of dollars in damages to a local construction contractor. The civil jury decided in favor of the […]

Paxton keeps finding new ways to be in trouble

The man has a talent. Ethics experts on Wednesday were torn over whether Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s decision to accept $100,000 for his legal defense from a donor whose company was under investigation by his office violates the letter of the law or the spirit of it. The attorney general’s office argued the donation […]

With friends like these

Who needs to worry about legal bills? Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, facing federal and state securities fraud charges, is getting more than a little help from his friends to foot his growing legal bill. The Republican accepted more than $329,000 earmarked for his legal defense from donors and “family friends,” according to a newly […]

Abbott orders state agencies to obey the law

Better late than never. Gov. Greg Abbott and Comptroller Glenn Hegar on Wednesday ordered state agencies to stop paying departing employees by placing them on “emergency leave.” “Pursuant to this directive, the use of emergency leave, administrative leave or other mechanisms to continue paying state employees who have ceased to work will be prohibited,” the […]

Lone Star Project requests investigation of severance packages

From the inbox: Today, Lone Star Project Director Matt Angle sent letters to the Texas Rangers, the State Auditor and the Travis County District Attorney requesting formal investigations into a series of questionable payments made by Attorney General Ken Paxton, State Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, State Land Commissioner George P. Bush and other state officials. […]

More on severance pay and the Land Commissioner’s office

The law doesn’t apply here. After reports of state agencies keeping former employees on the payroll after they stopped working, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and other agency heads have taken heat for stretching the rules on paid “emergency leave” to keep the ex-workers on the books. But when 26 employees were paid for an […]

You get a severance! And you get a severance!

Everybody gets a severance package! Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush has spent nearly $1 million in taxpayer money to entice dozens of people fired by his administration to agree not to sue him or the agency, a practice that may run afoul of a ban on severance pay for state workers. Bush, a first-term […]

This week in Ken Paxton Dishonesty

What else has he been lying about? Ken Paxton told federal investigators a tech CEO gave him $100,000 worth of stock five years ago, but he never disclosed the shares as either a gift or income, an issue ethics experts agreed could spell more trouble for the attorney general already facing state and federal fraud […]

Oh, Borris

Not good. State Rep. Borris Miles, a Houston Democrat, repeatedly failed to disclose his business interests in three companies as state law requires. The lawmaker did not report on state ethics forms for several years that he had an ownership stake in two hospice agencies or that he owned an entertainment company that operates a […]

Weekend scandal news roundup

If anything comes from the Texas Rangers investigation into his questionable expenditures, Ag Commissioner Sid Miller would be prosecuted in Travis County. If embattled Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller is prosecuted for misusing government funds, his trial would be in Travis County, officials said Friday, despite a new law that sends some corruption cases against […]

Second complaint filed against Miller

You do the crime… A liberal advocacy group has filed another complaint against Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, who found himself in hot water recently over possible misuse of state and campaign funds. The complaint, filed Wednesday by Progress Texas,asks the Texas Rangers to investigate Miller for using campaign funds to pay for a flight […]

The Rodeo had an extra clown this year

OK, it was a rodeo in Mississippi, but I wasn’t going to ruin a good headline. The point is, that clown’s name was Sid Miller. Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller used a combination of taxpayer money and campaign funds to fly to Mississippi last year to compete in a rodeo for prize money, according to […]

The Chron looks at Rodney Ellis

Not a very flattering look. Over the past 26 years, state Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, has voted to confirm gubernatorial appointments to the Lower Colorado River Authority, a powerful electric utility in Central Texas. During the same time, financial firms he either owned, worked for, or owned stock in have profited handsomely by helping underwrite […]

From the “It’s not the crime, it’s the coverup” department

Oh, Sid. You’re such a naughty boy. Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller’s office withheld public records that suggest he obtained a medical procedure known as “The Jesus Shot” on a taxpayer-funded trip to Oklahoma, the Houston Chronicle has learned. In response to a February public records request, Miller’s office had said that no email messages […]

Complaint filed against Sid Miller

Game on. A liberal advocacy group on Monday asked the Texas Rangers to investigate whether Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller used taxpayer money to fly to Oklahoma to get an injection known as “the Jesus Shot” that is supposed to cure all pain for life. The group, Progress Texas, filed a two-page complaint alleging Miller intentionally […]

Sid Miller and the Jesus Shot

I have three things to say about this. Less than a month after taking office, Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller flew to Oklahoma City with a top aide, billing the taxpayers at least $1,120 for flights and a rental car, budget records show. At the time, Miller said he made the trip to tour the […]

Once again, I spoke too soon about the Ethics Commission and Ken Paxton

I’ll be damned. The Texas Ethics Commission declined to pass an opinion that would have said it was okay for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to accept out-of-state gifts from donors to help pay the legal costs for his indictment. At a meeting on Monday, the Texas Ethics Commission voted 4-3 on an opinion that […]

Paxton can get some help with his legal bills

With some conditions attached, for whatever that’s worth. Indicted Attorney General Ken Paxton could tap out-of-state supporters to pay his legal defense team but must ensure those funds have not been funneled from any Texas donors, according to a draft advisory opinion from the state’s ethics regulator. The Texas Ethics Commission is scheduled to vote […]

Ethics investigator clears Farenthold

Some good news for a controversial Congressman. Ethics investigators struck a blow Monday to an ex-House staffer’s sexual harassment claims against Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, nine months after the fired communications director filed suit in District of Columbia court. The Office of Congressional Ethics did not find substantial reason to believe Farenthold, 53, sexually harassed […]

How will Paxton pay for his defense?

It’s a tricky question. Paxton faces three felony charges in Collin County, all related to his work as a private attorney and businessman. He told supporters in an email that he expects to be found innocent of all charges. The indictments handed up last month by a grand jury have nothing to do with the […]

Your daily Paxton update

This guy. I can’t even. Despite promising last year to “wind down” his involvement in dozens of real estate and business ventures, Attorney General Ken Paxton continued to expand his holdings in 2014, according to personal financial documents. Paxton pledged during last year’s campaign to begin divesting from his sizable business portfolio and funnel these […]

Paxton’s cronies

This guy really is a piece of work. When seeking a job at the Texas attorney general’s office, it’s less about what is on your résumé than who you know. In Attorney General Ken Paxton’s first weeks in office, he filled his higher ranks with at least 14 people connected to him and other prominent […]