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Friday, March 11, 2016

Is Ingram TX another Chrystal City? South Texas Border Corruption?

I've been publishing a series of pictures of properties in Ingram that the mayor and his administration allowed to connect to the new wastewater system for only $25 because the city classified them as "residential" properties. The city is supposed to charge $5,000 for a business. Many thousands of dollars have been lost, which of course the taxpayers have to cover. Today's features:

This is Gems of the Hill Country. And here's a picture of the ribbon cutting ceremony for this "residence"

And  here's another "residence," the Copper Cactus:

This picture doesn't do it justice - it takes up about a city block, full of knickknacks, a bar-b-que stand, etc.

Each owner paid $25. The City demanded my client pay $5,000 and filed a criminal charge (Class C misdemeanor) against him, which the City lost. Now what could possibly explain a city letting scores of businesses connect for $25 instead of $5,000 ?

The city has claimed in both the municipal court case and in civil case in federal court that its general contractor connected several businesses before Oct. 2012, charged the owners the connection fee of $5,000 or $8,000 (the number changes), and kept the money. The project was funded by the USDA when the city got itself classified as a colonia, like the ones on the border. It seems they brought in some of the good old South Texas ways of misusing federal money. I wonder if the same unit from the US Attorney that indicted most of the officials in Chrystal City have looked at Ingram?

1 comment:

  1. Having spent considerable time in Crystal City and Kerrville, I can tell you the biggest difference between the two is the oversight of government, especially when it comes to the Texas Rangers. In Kerrville the Texas Rangers are facilitators for the local government and the opposite is true in Crystal City. Remember when Kerrville Ranger Kyle Dean quit the Rangers and went to work for Barton's seizure squad, the very group Dean was supposed to oversee? You will never see that in Crystal.

    Also, there there is no way the Crystal City government could kill a person and not disclose why they did so, or who pulled the trigger, like the Michael Lynch case in Kerrville. The Rangers would be all over them, and there would be plenty of disclosure, and it would be instant.

    From an ethics and corruption standpoint, Crystal and Kerrville are about the same, however Crystal is not nearly as phony or hypocritical as Kerrville.

    Was the Colonia Grant money used to create a continuing criminal enterprise? That could be ugly.