About Taylor's leaders losing millions of taxpayer's dollars!
By Tom Mowdy
Taylor, TX. - The Taylor City Attorney, Ted Hejl, filed two civil lawsuits. In each of those lawsuits he claimed the Taylor Housing Authority (THA) was swindled out of more than $2.3 million in public real estate assets and hundreds of thousands in annual cash flow. But, despite the evidence and large financial loss, neither the City Attorney nor the City Council is calling for an independent criminal investigation. Why?
Filing a civil lawsuit that contains descriptions of felony crimes and then refusing to call for an independent criminal investigation invites the suspicion that someone is covering up something about losing control of millions of taxpayer dollars. Taylor citizens must demand the Taylor City Council request an investigation be conducted by a law enforcement entity, such as the Texas Rangers, from outside Williamson County.
Each of the civil lawsuits claim the $2.3 million in rental property, plus their annual revenues, once belonged to the Taylor Housing Authority. The assets were all purchased with taxpayer money and were meant to provide means tested community housing support. But, on June 6, 2008, the THA lost financial control and ownership.
Now, after all those years, the Taylor City Attorney says ownership and cash flows from those properties were illegally transferred to control of a former THA Executive Director. That former Executive Director now lives in Arkansas, has control of the properties and reported more than $110,000 in personal income directly from the properties in the last non-profit Form 990 filed with the Internal Revenue Service on April 28, 2015.
What is hard to understand is the transfer and financial losses began in 2008, but, no one at THA, or in the Taylor administration reported the loss to the public. Losing control of multi-million dollar assets and large cash flows would seem to be a newsworthy event. Filing two associated lawsuits concerning those losses also seem newsworthy. But, no public announcements were made.
There are serious accountability issues here that clearly indicate Taylor citizens cannot trust their elected leaders to keep them informed. In fact, it appears the information was deliberately suppressed.
The THA Executive Director, the city attorney, and the city administration had to know when the property revenues stopped arriving at THA. But, no one informed the public and no one took any action until, six years later, an anonymous tip informed the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Acting on that anonymous tip, HUD conducted an audit and issued a scathing report on October 2, 2014. The HUD report clearly indicated there was criminal activity.
Reading the HUD audit, Taylor citizens will find clear probable cause for a criminal investigation. And, more probable cause when reading the sworn civil lawsuits filed by the Taylor City Attorney. The first one amended on June 5, 2015, the second filed on February 5, 2016.
Each of the two civil lawsuits contain the Taylor City Attorney’s descriptions of felony crimes. The HUD audit and the two lawsuits all describe felony crimes. The documents show that since June 2008, there was a complete understanding and evidence of the crimes. The crimes were described in detail, with names, and the crime alarm was ringing, but, there was no criminal complaint.
Why, since June 2008, has there been no criminal investigation requested? In fact, there is no evidence that any action was planned or contemplated until the HUD audit became public. And then, it was only a civil action.
From 2008 until 2014, there had to be some discussions with the THA’s legal advisor. Certainly, THA would have sought legal advice from the THA attorney, who was also the city attorney. What was that advice? Why was no action taken from 2008 until 2015? Almost seven years.
Somehow, somebody made a decision to do nothing. There was a lot of knowledge about the money and property losses. Enough knowledge to generate a very accurate anonymous tip. But, nobody did anything and the public was not made aware.
From June 2008 until the HUD audit, the “de facto” decision was to do nothing and let the loss accrue and money flow continue while the statutes of limitations expire. And, that is exactly what the decision maker(s) was/were going to let happen, until the anonymous tip.
The annual cash flow loss alone, in this property and money loss, is greater than the annual tax recently levied on Taylor citizens to improve Taylor roads. Taylor citizens deserve a full and transparent investigation by an external law enforcement entity to determine the facts.
How could anyone support or endorse any Taylor public office incumbent or candidate who does not demand a detailed criminal investigation, full disclosure to the public, and recovery of all money and assets lost?
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