The city amended its bond documents to reflect that independence as the airport system sells about $409 million of tax-exempt airport revenue bonds.
Houston's supplement to its preliminary bond documents reads: "The city is evaluating whether HASDC is a component unit of the city for financial reporting purposes. The city has determined that HASDC is a separate legal entity, and that neither the city nor the Houston Airport System is legally liable for any obligations of the HASDC, notwithstanding the outcome of the financial reporting issue."
The investigation, which is being conducted for the city of Houston by Bracewell & Giuliani, is now focused on whether the HASDC entered into business agreements that the city is unaware of and if any policies need to be put in place regarding the use of airport system employees by the HASDC.
We'd suppose the city felt obligated to amend the bond papers a day after city controller Annise Parker sent a letter to Mayor Bill White stating she feels the HASDC may be subject to financial oversight by the city in much the same way other indirectly linked bodies are, such as the zoo. That letter also claimed there were "systemic problems" within the HASDC.
Check out the Texas Watchdog story that started all here.