January 29, 2022

Houston Democrats facing corruption charges

Houston Democratic Mayor Sylvester Turner and Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo both face controversies concerning government contracts granted to people closely connected to their political campaigns.

Hidalgo’s alleged scandal involves awarding an $11 million COVID-19 vaccine contract to Elevate Strategies. The group is run by Felicity Pereyra, who has close ties to the county commissioner’s court and also worked on Hidalgo’s campaign.

Turner’s problem involves former Houston Housing and Community Development Director Tom McCasland regarding a $15 million housing contract.

The mayor reportedly included a co-developer in the contract called the Harbor Venture Group, led by his former law partner Barry Barnes.

Turner claimed he did not Barnes was involved with the company and that no conflict of interest was involved in the awarding of the contract.

The two leaders now face the challenge of proving themselves innocent of the accusations against them, which could lead to upcoming reelection battles in the days ahead.

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