Open Government Project
A Government Watchdog Group
State of Texas
City of Galveston
Public Interest Groups
by David Stanowski
04 December 2011
After two and a half years of research, it sure seems like the primary purpose of HUD, and its Public Housing function, is to funnel money from the taxpayers to well-connected members of the Poverty Industry. Helping people escape from a life of intergenerational dependency and poverty is of little real concern. Keeping the money flowing appears to be what it is all about!
The Washington Post has just begun to discover and understand this corrupt process through its recent investigations, but this picture was painted very clearly, several years ago, by former HUD Assistant Secretary Catherine Austin Fitts. Her efforts to change the focus of HUD lead to a confrontation with a staffer who told her things were done this way to "generate fees for our friends".
Other studies have shown that HUD consistently violates the Fair Housing Act and other laws that it is supposed to follow and enforce at the local level. If they were really trying to help poor people, why would they do this?
The local Poverty Industry desperately wants as much Public Housing money as possible funneled through the City of Galveston so that they can siphon off "fees"! This is why they made so many attempts to have the Conciliation Agreement "interpreted" as saying that the 569 units must be built in this city.
When he was still General Counsel at TDHCA, Kevin Hamby was one of the people who helped draft the Conciliation Agreement, and he later supplied an "interpretation", at the request of the Mayor, that supported the Mayor's desire to build all of the Public Housing for the entire County in this city.
When Mr. Hamby lost his job at the TDHCA, he came to Galveston eager to "volunteer" to help the City comply with the Round 1 requirements in the Conciliation Agreement. Councilmember Beeton said that he told her that he was doing this to position himself to try to get a piece of the consulting contract for Round 2.
Should it be alarming to the people of this city that Sterling Patrick put URS (where Mr. Hamby now works) on the short list to get a $12 million contract, "because he helped draft the Conciliation Agreement"? Is that a good reason to put URS on the short list, or to select them to manage City funds in Round 2? Does that make sense?
The Conciliation Agreement was drafted without representation by this city, but it greatly restricted the City's sovereignty, and ability to determine its own destiny. In short, this Agreement sacrificed the best interests of this city, and the opportunities of the Public Housing residents it serves in order to make it more expedient for the State to settle the Administrative Complaint filed by the fair-housing groups and receive disaster recovery funding more quickly, which is hardly an endorsement for anyone who had a part in drafting its terms!
It is not surprising that Councilmember Beeton would question the suggestion to employ Mr. Hamby, and also raise questions in Thursday's workshop about the Mayor's role in positioning him as a finalist for a very lucrative payday, which would also give him a great deal of control in implementing Round 2.
Isn't it part of Council's responsibility to question potential conflicts of interest?
Wasn't Councilmember Beeton just doing the required due diligence when she tried to determine if there is some reason that the Mayor would like Mr. Hamby to get this contract?
Apparently, Councilmember Beeton still remembers the Mayor's behind-the-scenes efforts to convince HUD to tell the City that it could not even consider building any Public Housing on the Mainland, and his similar efforts to get the TDHCA to "interpret" the Conciliation Agreement in this way, too.
Jaworski Email to Mercedes Marquez 1
Jaworski Email to Mercedes Marquez 2
The Mayor accused her of a "lack of trust", but it seemed like she was just asking the questions that the entire Council should have raised.
Should people be concerned about Mr. Hamby's history with the Conciliation Agreement, and his support of the Mayor's desire to squash any attempts to diffuse Public Housing outside of this city and throughout the County?
Watch excerpts from the workshop on the following video and see what you think.
Click on Picture to View Video
"HUD is Being Run as a Criminal Enterprise"