Hurricane Harvey devastated the City of Houston almost two years ago. To assist residents in rebuilding, $1.18 billion in federal monies were allocated to the City of Houston. It took the City Administration almost eighteen months to approve a plan to distribute these monies.
An investigation reveals that some city contractors misled officials to get city contracts related to Hurricane Harvey relief.
Mayoral candidate Tony Buzbee said recently, Houston city officials approved six contracts at $66 million each to fix homes and apartments damaged by Hurricane Harvey. He said each of those prime contractors told the city they would use minority, women, and small business subcontractors.
"Of the ones that I could reach, not one. Not one knew that they and their minority-owned or women-owned business had been listed or had received a contract from the city of Houston," said Buzbee.
He said this was deceptive, fraudulent and misappropriation.
Each of the prime contractors who were awarded these contracts represented to the City that they would use minority, women, and small business subcontractors (MWSBE). The City of Houston’s MWSBE Program purpose is to “promote the growth and successes” of minority, women, and small business enterprises. Contractors are required to “demonstrate a genuine effort to comply with the City’s Good Faith Effort Policy.”
"This is not just misappropriation of their status and their names, this is also, in my view, I believe to be criminal activity," said Buzbee.
He said they're filing a criminal complaint against the contractors. Some of whom are donors to Mayor Turner’s campaign.