KPRC-TV reports that on two occasions they asked Mayor Turner about Marvin Agumagu and in both instances he denied any knowledge of him.
As more evidence emerged including a letter of recommendation he penned on city letterhead, endorsing Agumagu for a position within the student bar at Texas Southern Univeisty, Turner now admits that he does in fact know Agumagu.
When KPRC-TV reporter Mario Diaz initially asked Turner if he knew Agumagu, Turner said "I have no idea who you are talking about.”Well know Turner says the questions from KPRC-TV reporter “caught me off guard as I was rushing to another scheduled city event.”
In the 2017 letter of recommendation by Turner for Agumagu, he wrote “as a council aide working in City Hall, I've had the opportunity to get to know Marvin personally...As Mayor, I've experienced Marvin's professionalism in different capacities. From attending various functions around town and representing the city, in addition to participating in executive-level meetings and committees.”
From the KPRC-TV report:
Did the city ever post the $95,000 internship?
“The short answer is: No.
Houston Airport System Director Mario Diaz asked to reclassify an existing airport job and turn it into an executive-level position. The move allowed the city to avoid posting the position to the public. The Mayor's Office told KPRC 2, "By City Charter, a Director has the autonomy to reclassify a position and request a waiver or posting for an Executive Level action in lieu of the competitive posting process."
Turner's signature is what officially created this internship.
Should Agumagu have been eligible for an internship?
According to Houston-based employment attorney Todd Slobin, Agumagu should not have been eligible for an internship with the City of Houston.
"If this person has a bachelor's degree and has a law degree, he is not, in my opinion, eligible for an internship anywhere," Slobin said.
After examining what KPRC 2 Investigates uncovered, Slobin said, "It seems clear to me that this opportunity was created specifically for this individual so that they could be paid a salary and receive a sweetheart deal with the city."
Mayoral candidate & Turner opponent Tony Buzbee asks “if there are others like Agumagu who have received these types of sweetheart deals at taxpayer expense. The public, who pays these monies, have an absolute right to know. I think most would agree a thorough investigation is warranted, based on the facts we now know.”