in Houston, Texas
Houston City Councilman Stephen Costello cleared in investigation; city inspector general finds no conflict in Costello Inc.'s contracts with city
Wednesday, Mar 23, 2011, 06:50PM CST
By Steve Miller
Houston City Hall

An investigation into Houston City Councilman Stephen Costello reported by Texas Watchdog regarding several active city contracts with his engineering firm, Costello Inc. has found no violations of city policy or state ethics laws.

The investigation found that Costello "has not engaged and is not engaging in a conflict of interest, as alleged," according to a one-page memo from the city attorney's office to the mayor. The investigation was launched after a citizen informed Mayor Annise Parker at a public forum last month that Costello Inc. had been awarded a $1.7 million contract to fix water lines in the Memorial Plaza, Shadywood and Regency Square areas of the city in October 2009, shortly before he was elected to the City Council. Parker referred the matter to the city's Office of the Inspector General.

The investigation found that while Costello's company had three open contracts with the city, Costello "is not personally involved in any of these contracts," they were entered into prior to his election to council, and Costello "has acknowledged that he must recuse himself from voting on any issues regarding the city contracts that his firm currently has with the city." Costello Inc. is also barred from soliciting new contracts with the city while Costello is on the council, the memo says.

***

Contact Steve Miller at 832-303-9420 or stevemiller@texaswatchdog.org.

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Photo of Houston City Hall by flickr user eschipul, used via a Creative Commons license.

Comments
bailey
Wednesday, 04/06/2011 - 12:35PM

great another corrupt politician......let's line him up at the courthouse right behind Jerry Eversol, and waste more precious tax dollars on prosecution.

Mildred
Tuesday, 10/04/2011 - 04:47PM

I think it is unfortunate, Bailey, that you posted a comment without actually reading the article first. However, I'm not sure how you could have missed the overwhelming large font of the title: "Houston City Councilman Stephen Costello cleared in investigation..."

It is obvious that a resident, not in favor of Prop. 1 (Renew Houston), is responsible for the unfounded accusation. The real tragedy is that our tax dollars were spent on this investigation.

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