A lot of folks in H-Town are eagerly awaiting the announcement today that B-G-O will make it into the MLB Hall of Fame. A number of local news outlets were reporting live from The Yard early this morning. I will be here watching the MLB Network at 1 pm today. The local twitterverse is going to explode for sure.
B-G-O made his major league debut behind the plate on June 26, 1988 against the Giants at the Dome. Who was the ‘Stros starting pitcher that day?
Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan is sure putting a lot of effort and resources into getting David Wilson disqualified from serving on the HCC Board. Vince handed some stuff off to Lisa Falkenberg for her column today. Here is the column:
No bathtub. No refrigerator. No TV.
If 67-year-old small businessman Dave Wilson really lives in a warehouse apartment on West 34th Street, and not with his wife, as he claims, it’s a pretty Spartan existence. And not a particularly clean, well-fed or entertaining one.
An inspection this week by City of Houston code enforcement didn’t help the Houston Community College trustee-elect in his quest to prove he meets district residency requirements for the job. The city ended up slapping a bright orange sticker to the glass door of the warehouse, indicating he doesn’t have permission to use it as a residence.
“Change of occupancy to reflecting living quarters on 2nd floor. Plans required,” it reads, warning that failure to comply may result in citations with minimum fines of $500-$2,000 per incident.
Photos from the city inspection, provided to me by Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan’s office, depict sparsely furnished rooms with mostly bare walls, tabletops and counters.
“If you look at these photographs, it does not look like he’s been living there for two years,” said Ryan, who sued Wilson to try and prove the trustee-elect didn’t live in the district he ran to represent.
Ryan, whose office had requested its own tour of the residence but never got one, said he wasn’t surprised by the city’s findings.
“We believe it’s very clear cut,” Ryan said. “Every piece of evidence we see indicates he does not have his address at West 34th Street.”
Wilson is the perennial candidate who gained nationwide attention in November when he won a predominately black district after leading voters to believe he was black. He’s actually white. His shenanigans, which never seem to cease, include past residency disputes. But Wilson may have set stage for his biggest showdown yet, in a court hearing scheduled for Friday.
Ryan’s office has detailed several inconsistencies with Wilson’s residency claims: dates that don’t match up, documents that contradict each other, and improbable scenarios. Case in point: Wilson’s two adult children recently switched their official residences to the warehouse apartment, too.
Asked about that last week, Wilson admitted to me that his grown kids – one in college, one in the Army – don’t live with him at the warehouse. So why were their voting records changed to indicate that they do?
“So they could vote for their dad,” Wilson told me matter-of-factly.
Swore himself in?
Another wrinkle in the case came when state district Judge Elaine Palmer granted a temporary restraining order intended to prevent Wilson from taking the oath of office until the residency issue was cleared up.
But Wilson claimed he’d never been formally served notice in the lawsuit and wasn’t aware of the hearing or the judge’s order until after he’d already taken it upon himself to complete the paperwork that allowed him to, basically, swear himself into office.
Answers the door
County attorney officials say that if Wilson wasn’t served, it wasn’t for lack of trying. They describe a kind of catch-me-if-you-can situation where Wilson evaded attempts to serve him with court documents. But Ryan says the restraining order is valid because Wilson’s attorney was aware of the hearing.
Finally Tuesday, Ryan says Wilson answered the door at the warehouse and was served with a notice of the restraining order, a subpoena to appear Friday and a letter requesting that the county attorney inspectors be allowed in the second-story warehouse apartment.
“We haven’t heard from him and it’s hurting my feelings,” Ryan said late Tuesday, tongue firmly planted in cheek.
Wilson seemed frustrated when I called Tuesday to ask him about the city’s claims and why, for instance, he doesn’t have a shower in the place where he claims to live. He noted there is a shower elsewhere in the premises but said that’s irrelevant.
“What is this all about? They’re just looking for stuff everywhere. Nitpicking everything,” he told me. “You know, I don’t have a four-slice toaster, either. I’ve only got a two-slice toaster. Good grief.”
He said it’s outrageous that the county attorney is spending public resources, after an election, on a “selective prosecution” alleging residency offenses other candidates have pulled off with impunity. Asked for specifics on other candidates, Wilson couldn’t provide them Tuesday.
Ryan says he’s simply investigating a complaint brought to his office, and he’d do the same thing with complaints against any other candidates, regardless of party affiliation. Ryan is a Democrat; Wilson ran as a Republican.
“This is a witch hunt and this is politically motivated and it’s nothing but cheap partisan politics and they’re scared to death for me to get on the board,” Wilson said, promising Ryan will “get spanked” in court Friday.
He’s probably right that some people are scared to death to get him on that board. Wilson has vowed to bring transparency to the often opaque operations of the HCC board and to request independent audits of finances. Heads could roll.
It would be a welcome change. But candidates promising open, honest leadership should walk the walk. Playing fast and loose with election laws and ignoring a temporary restraining order aren’t good ways to start out. Districts exist for a reason: to give citizens a better chance at electing someone who represents them and their interests.
This latest episode, added to the list of Wilson’s other antics, makes me wonder if he’d be a breath of fresh air on that board, or a disaster.
I don’t know where this is going but Vince is making sure it keeps going. This one is probably going to get more interesting so don’t switch that dial.
In his MLB debut B-G-O of course was behind the plate for JD – Jim Deshaies.