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Archive for January 4th, 2018

Still On the Job

How many players on the ‘Stros’ World Series roster were born in Puerto Rico?

On the latest on the H-Town Mayor’s press secretary, here is how Rebecca Elliott’s Chron story ends today:

“It’s pretty flagrant,” said Daniel Bevarly, executive director of the National Freedom of Information Coalition, based in Missouri. “I’m surprised the mayor retained this individual.”

Turner said “no employee ought to be utilizing personal emails on city time,” but said he was not concerned about Ward’s performance.

“She’s done her job extremely well since I’ve been here, over and above,” he said. “I have no question with regard to her work performance.”

The mayor, who bristled at reporters’ questions about Ward, added that he imposed a stiffer punishment than the city’s legal and human resources departments had recommended.

“People are not concerned about some of these other matters that don’t touch them,” Turner said. “What they are concerned about: Who’s going to help me get back and fix my house? And they’re concerned about who’s going to meet the needs of the vulnerable population like the homeless.”

Joy in Motion is registered with the Texas Secretary of State in Ward’s name, and Bernstein’s memo says Ward acknowledged it is her “own private company.”

However, Joy in Motion is not listed on Ward’s city financial disclosures for the 2014, 2015 and 2016 calendar years. Ward’s position in the mayor’s office, for which she earns $93,712 annually, is the only income source listed on any of the three forms.

Houston requires disclosure of any “occupational income” over $250 per source, among other financial interests. Violations are subject to review by the city’s ethics commission and are punishable by fines of $100 to $500 per offense.

Former city attorney David Feldman described that requirement as covering “any compensation for work, whether it be as an employee, independent contractor, employee-owner – it doesn’t matter.”

Here is the entire story: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/politics/houston/article/Turner-stands-by-employee-suspended-for-12472003.php.

Drip, drip, drip!

Commentary has yet to run into anyone over the last 24 hours who thinks she should stay on the job. Some even want to see tougher action if you know what I mean.

Here is what Steve Houston sent me:

On the Darian Ward matter, I hope this spells a new attitude toward public information requests because historically, and for a very long time, it has been common for those in government to bend over backwards to withhold anything someone doesn’t want to release. This holds true for all levels of government, not just the city of Houston, it wasn’t that long ago the county sheriff played fast & loose with the rules, the same for a sitting district attorney.

Reporter Mike Morris documented his problems with requests on his twitter feed for awhile too, those in charge of producing records have come up with a near endless list of tricks to dissuade reporters or the public at large from getting what they want. And while some bemoan the 10 day suspension as far too little, it is exceedingly rare that a government employee is ever punished for such actions, some just use it as an excuse to move to a different position elsewhere or to remove a predecessor’s employee on reasonable grounds. On the other hand, those trying to try Ward in the court of public opinion such as a few Council-members, might not care for a look into their own forms of double dipping, it being very common for such folks to conduct personal and other business on the city clock without so much as a thought about it. If you’re going to call a woman a thief over a common practice, be prepared to look in the mirror and cast judgement your own way as well.

Drip, drip, drip!

It is a question of credibility.

The ‘Atros have been invited to the White House. I wonder what the Puerto Ricans on the team will do since Donald Trump has treated Puerto Rico like s__t on hurricane relief. Commentary doesn’t really give a rat’s arse if the team goes. Most of the ‘Stros probably know Trump is an arsehole anyway.

Here is what Tags tweeted on the team and Spring Training:

Astros pitchers and catchers report Feb. 14. First workout Feb. 15. Full squad reports Feb. 19. First full squad workout Feb. 20.

Carlos Beltran, Juan Centeno, and Carlos Correa of course were born in Puerto Rico.

Oh yeah, I also have a Foul Ball King Christmas tree ornament and you don’t – nice.

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