A tip came in from a city of Houston employee that Mayor Sylvester Turner was using a rule that he can sign contracts up to $50,000 without council approval.
Houston Mayoral Candidate Bill King was trying to get to the bottom of how Turner spent $400 million of taxpayer money without city council approval, when he received a shocking answer.
After filing an open records request, Houston’s City Attorney said the cost of copying the contracts would be $2.8 million.
King said they were told it would take 155,000 hours to assemble the documents–with 75 people working full-time for a year.
But, the city wants a down payment of $1.4 million to get the ball rolling.
King said this could mean two things.
“That they’re so desperate not to let us see what’s in those contracts because they know how damaging it’ll be they’re going through this incredible rouse to try to keep from disclosing the documents. But, even if it’s true, if they really did so many contracts, it would take 155,000 to copy them, I find that almost as disturbing,” said King.
King said the mayor’s office has also objected to a request from the state attorney general’s office, as well.
King said he’ll roll out a complete ethics transparency reform package in the coming weeks.