in Houston, Texas
Texas Rangers scrutinize state agreement with North Texas Council of Governments
Wednesday, Jun 22, 2011, 04:35PM CST
By Kevin Lee
cash

Texas Rangers continue to investigate the activities of a fired state official who oversaw disbursement of federal homeland security grants as the head of the State Administrative Agency.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported on Tuesday that Janice Bruno gave the Rangers a “variety of descriptions” when asked to explain the contract she developed on behalf of the agency with the North Texas Council of Governments “to act as a conduit to spend millions of taxpayer dollars.” Bruno would recommend contractors, and the council would receive a 4 percent “administrative fee.”

One of those companies Bruno recommended was CyberDefenses, an information technology company whose founder served with Bruno in the National Guard.

The state auditor has found that the agency channeled $420,000 to consultants while bypassing required bidding procedures.

The Houston Chronicle reported earlier this month that “the state has replaced the entire SAA leadership team and suspended all contractors working at the SAA and any related contractor invoice payments,” since the allegations of wrongdoing surfaced.

Bruno has not been charged with a crime, according to the Star-Telegram.
 
***
Contact Kevin Lee at 713-228-3733 or kevin@texaswatchdog.org.

Keep up with all the latest news from Texas Watchdog. Fan our page on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Scribd, and fan us on YouTube. Join our network on de.licio.us, and put our RSS feeds in your newsreader. We're also on MySpace, Digg, FriendFeed, and tumblr.

Photo of money by flickr user athrasher, used via a Creative Commons license.
State auditor questions $420K in contracts that lacked required bidding; read the auditor’s report here
Thursday, Jun 09, 2011, 10:33AM CST
By Mark Lisheron
money

A discredited State Administrative Agency funneled $420,000 or more in contracts to consultants without the required bidding, according to a state audit obtained by the the Houston Chronicle.

The state is in the process of firing Janice Bruno, the head of the agency, who has been under suspension since criminal misconduct allegations were brought to the State Auditor in December, according to the Chronicle story today.

Bruno has not as yet been charged criminally in connection with the investigation.

The audit says managers for the agency responsible for disbursing millions of dollars in federal grants used the Texas Department of Information Resources to hire specific people they had chosen as consultants.

The agency paid out $420,336, with $151,265 of it from the federal Department of Homeland Security, during the 2010 fiscal year. While the audit describes widespread spending and compliance problems at the agency, the scope of the audit gives no indication how long the problems have gone on.
 
***
Contact Mark Lisheron at 512-299-2318 or mark@texaswatchdog.org or on Twitter at @marktxwatchdog.

Keep up with all the latest news from Texas Watchdog. Fan our page on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Scribd, and fan us on YouTube. Join our network on de.licio.us, and put our RSS feeds in your newsreader. We're also on MySpace, Digg, FriendFeed, and tumblr.

Follow Texas Health Care Report on Twitter, and fan us on Facebook.

Photo of money by flickr user athrasher, used via a Creative Commons license.
  • 1
Video
KTRK: On Big Screens for Billionaires, Comptroller Susan Combs Silent
Related Blogs and Media
KPRC ND Deborah Collura leaves for WCNC Charlotte Deborah Collura leaves KPRC and Post-Newsweek news gigs for general manager role at WCNC Charlotte Deborah Collura From the old...
Update:2 months 3 weeks
Mike McGuff
Perry and Dewhurst: signs of the times Rick Perry went all out against Ted Cruz for David Dewhurst in 2012 when Dewhurst was seeking higher office. A mere two years later, Perry...
Update:2 months 3 weeks
Rick Perry vs The World
Signs Herald Kirby Dr. Funeral Bars’ Impending Doom Renderings and reports of a giant mixed-use development that would swallow up the entire block on the west side of Kirby Dr. between...
Update:2 months 3 weeks
Swamplot
Potential civil liability for failing to comply with Prison Rape Elimination Act Check out written testimony to the Texas House County Affairs Committee from Texas Criminal Justice Coalition policy attorney Elizabeth...
Update:2 months 3 weeks
Grits for Breakfast
Daily Demolition Report: Altoona Switch Swamplot’s Daily Demolition Report lists buildings that received City of Houston demolition permits the previous weekday. Dig deep into...
Update:2 months 3 weeks
Swamplot
The Rice Hotel’s New Owners; Making Munger St. Sparkle Post Properties Sells Historic Rice Hotel Building to Trammell Crow-Related Entity; Greystar Will Manage Apartments [Prime Property] FMC...
Update:2 months 3 weeks
Swamplot
Sex offender registration shouldn't include 'kidnapping' in child custody disputes At the Austin Statesman, Chuck Lindell reports ("Texan with no sex crime history protests 'sex offender' label," May 3) that two members of...
Update:2 months 3 weeks
Grits for Breakfast
T-Squared: Our Spring Membership Drive Today is the first day of our spring membership drive. It may seem indistinguishable from...
Update:2 months 3 weeks
Texas Tribune
Fort Bend ISD Board Trustee Albright Questioned In Campaign Sign Theft Yvonne Larsen A Fort Bend Independent School District Board Trustee was questioned by City of Meadows Place police early Saturday morning...
Update:2 months 3 weeks
Big Jolly Politics
Mark McCaig: Sid Miller’s Lies Caught on Tape Throughout his campaign for Agriculture Commissioner, former State Representative turned lobbyist Sid Miller has not constrained himself to...
Update:2 months 3 weeks
Big Jolly Politics
Hayek and Buckley on Redistribution of Wealth
Update:2 months 3 weeks
Houston's Clear Thinkers
Few guards face charges in cell-phone contraband cases The Texas Tribune's Edgar Walters today revisited the question of why Texas prison guards are rarely charged in cell-phone contraband...
Update:2 months 3 weeks
Grits for Breakfast
The Rockets Question that has yet to be asked (by the media anyway) After Damien Lillard pierced the heart of Houston sports fans the excuse making by the media began."It wasn't McHale's fault" they tell us...
Update:2 months 3 weeks
Cory Crow
California Chrome wins Kentucky Derby. (Likely to face tougher in Preakness) Before the race started, my betting strategy for the Kentucky Derby was toast.Last week, on Twitter, I picked California Chrome as the...
Update:2 months 3 weeks
Cory Crow
Flying with the Thunderbirds Blair Bunting Flies with the Thunderbirds from Jaron Schneider on...
Update:2 months 3 weeks
Houston's Clear Thinkers
Texas has a craving for hot-sauce company Leaders will head to California to try to persuade the maker of Sriracha hot sauce to move to...
Update:2 months 3 weeks
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
KIII celebrates 50th anniversary with special 'Domingo Live!' KIII-TV Corpus Christi, TX announces special 50th anniversary telecast for Domingo Live! KIII-TV announced that it will broadcast a...
Update:2 months 3 weeks
Mike McGuff
John Cornyn: It’s time to let adopted children come home from Congo Texas politicians receive out-of-state...
Update:2 months 3 weeks
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Dewhurst, Patrick square off Wednesday in lieutenant governor debate Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and state Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, will meet at WFAA in Dallas Wednesday morning for a 45-minute live, online...
Update:2 months 3 weeks
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
The Playlist: Down to the River to Pray It was confirmed this week that Gov. Rick Perry was recently baptized in the...
Update:2 months 3 weeks
Texas Tribune
Virginia, Utah, require warrants for phone location data, Tennessee bill awaiting gov's signature More states have approved legislation requiring law enforcement to obtain warrants to track cell-phone location data, measure that passed...
Update:2 months 3 weeks
Grits for Breakfast
Live debate: Dewhurst-Patrick Watch WFAA's live stream of the May 7 debate between candidates for lieutenant...
Update:2 months 3 weeks
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Kimmel at Legends Barbershop re Donald Sterling
Update:2 months 3 weeks
Houston's Clear Thinkers
Live: Dewhurst, Patrick face off in Houston debate Heading into a hotly contested GOP primary on May 27, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst is battling for his political life against State Sen. Dan...
Update:2 months 3 weeks
San Antonio Express-News
Conservatives Finally Take the Lead in 2014 Outside Spending Through the first half of the 2014 cycle, liberal groups reported having done more outside spending than conservative ones. It was only a...
Update:2 months 3 weeks
Open Secrets
Comment of the Day: The Folks Thumping Your Property “As someone who used to work on seismic crews for years before moving into designing these subsurface programs, I can tell you all...
Update:2 months 3 weeks
Swamplot
Maybe We Should Round Up the Usual Suspects What’s happened to the bar building by the Cottage Grove railroad tracks at 5519 Allen St. at the corner of T.C. Jester since lesbian...
Update:2 months 3 weeks
Swamplot
Hot Races 2014: In N.C., Outside Groups Work to Oust Wayward GOP Incumbent The Republican primary race to unseat Walter Jones pits a neoconservative against an anti-establishment libertarian, but this time the...
Update:2 months 3 weeks
Open Secrets
The Hillary Gender Divide? Will Hillary Clinton, the most powerful woman in U.S. politics, run up against the same donor gender divide that holds true generally if...
Update:2 months 3 weeks
Open Secrets
Bellaire Home Listing Photo of the Day: The Sitting Room 4503 Park Ct. [HAR] … Read...
Update:2 months 3 weeks
Swamplot
MAY 2 / Alexander Solzhenitzyn, meet James Madison NEAR THE END of his legendary 1978 commencement address to Harvard's June graduating class, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, probably without...
Update:2 months 3 weeks
Unca Darrell
'Waiving the criminal justice system' There's an interesting looking paper on SSRN from a UT-Austin law prof, a  public defender and a law student with the same title as...
Update:2 months 3 weeks
Grits for Breakfast
Scoring an Outscaped Cochran’s Crossing Home Near Golf On a cul-de-sac’s wedge lot in The Woodlands neighborhood of Cochran’s Crossing, an updated 1987 home with an outdoor oasis...
Update:2 months 3 weeks
Swamplot
Chemical, Pharmaceutical Industries See Huge Lobbying Increases Overall spending on lobbying may have fallen again in the first quarter of 2014, but not everyone decided to pull back. In fact, some...
Update:2 months 3 weeks
Open Secrets
Texas lawmakers mull more 'dark money' disclosure A top Texas House committee on Thursday re-examined a possible crackdown on anonymous donations from "dark money" political groups, defying...
Update:2 months 3 weeks
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Ashby Highrise Will Go Up ‘Without Delay,’ Developers Say A spokesperson for Buckhead Investment Partners, the developers behind the building slated for 1717 Bissonnet St. in Boulevard Oaks known...
Update:2 months 3 weeks
Swamplot
Stephen Dean exits WRTV 6 Indianapolis Stephen Dean, formerly of KPRC 2, checks in with a hint of Houston nostalgia Stephen Dean Former KPRC 2 investigative reporter Stephen...
Update:2 months 3 weeks
Mike McGuff
Construction Starts Next Week on Main St. MATCH Arts Complex in Midtown Having matched the $20 million it decided it needed before beginning building its full-block Main St. arts complex, the organizers behind...
Update:2 months 3 weeks
Swamplot
Committee to evaluate implementation of cite-and-summons statute The Texas House County Affairs Committee on Monday will consider a couple of criminal-justice related interim charges that may interest...
Update:2 months 3 weeks
Grits for Breakfast
Daily Demolition Report: Grand Slam Watch us scramble these eggs — or make them into pancakes: Commercial Structures Apartments, 1204 Bartlett St. 77006 (Bartlett...
Update:2 months 3 weeks
Swamplot
Tweets
Karen Townsend | 1 year 11 months
"Patrick F. Kennedy is a career foreign service officer" - http://t.co/GOrCe0IS
Peter Corbett ✈ | 1 year 11 months
I'm at McCarran International Airport (LAS) w/ @almacy http://t.co/KvmId07i
KERA Public Media | 1 year 11 months
TONIGHT at 7pm on KERA TV: Presidential Debate: Learn more at PBS NewsHour. http://t.co/Z9kYdun8
PBS MediaShift | 1 year 11 months
Tech Snafus Make Bill O'Reilly/Jon Stewart 'Rumble' More of a Stumble http://t.co/4OfeBlrG (@kegill | @pbsmediashift) #rumble2012
Will Sullivan | 1 year 11 months
Great addition, been burned too much by bad subs. "Google Play Announces Free Trials For In-App Subscription Services" http://t.co/TOLgRVak
TxDOT | 1 year 11 months
I-35W/North Tarrant Express #constantcontact http://t.co/QDzrQumu
keyetv | 1 year 11 months
Serial shotgun robbers suspects arrested. http://t.co/ka8T4U9B
Karen Townsend | 1 year 11 months
Aren't State Dept career people suppose to be non-partisan? Not the political appointees, the career people. #Libya
San Antonio Current | 1 year 11 months
Go ahead, chalk it up http://t.co/YMWpC5wM #satx #chalkitup
Caller.com | 1 year 11 months
Scanner: Bathroom on fire in 600 block of Virginia, CC fire dept. on the way
Ballotpedia | 1 year 11 months
Does your state offer early voting? Do you qualify? Find out! #election2012 http://t.co/eodxBYVD
Dallas Morning News | 1 year 11 months
Why a Dallas-area cycling coach believed Lance Armstrong was drug-free (video) http://t.co/gURdYkj1
Caller.com | 1 year 11 months
Dozens of illegal waste dumpers sentenced in Jim Wells Co.; others on the run: http://t.co/NgerCdsQ
Karen Townsend | 1 year 11 months
Consistently impressed w/raullabrador when I listen to him in Congressional hearings. #Libya
Cory Crow | 1 year 11 months
Diigo: United raises fares by up to $10 per round trip - Business - http://t.co/kWY8gwPV http://t.co/bw25JP5R
News 4 WOAI | 1 year 11 months
If you see news in or around San Antonio 'SEND IT' to @NEWS4WOAI here: http://t.co/uMqbMXQv OR email us at: NEWSDESK@WOAITV.COM
swamplot | 1 year 11 months
Mining Houston Garbage for Recycling and Compost Gold http://t.co/HMMBArMX
swamplot | 1 year 11 months
Daily Demolition Report: Tulane Highway http://t.co/JXmkSx11
KFDA NewsChannel10 | 1 year 11 months
Obama and Romney: Where they stand on the issues http://t.co/y3VrPfkM
Williamson County | 1 year 11 months
Mental Health Awareness Week FREE Webinar:"Understanding Depression-How to Help You or a Loved One" Thurs,Oct 11@1pm-https://t.co/YUWi19WY
© 2014 TEXAS WATCHDOG and USELABS. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use and Privacy Statement