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
Clemency sought for schizophrenic man set for execution Texas is on track for an 18-year low in executions, likely because the option of life without parole was added in...
Update:4 hours 9 min
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Lawmaker says he spoke to grand jury about Tarrant water district A state representative says he testified to Henderson County a grand jury after bringing a complaint against the Tarrant Regional Water...
Update:4 hours 55 min
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
The Playlist: The Thrill Is Gone With enough House Republicans publicly backing Speaker Joe Straus to all but guarantee his re-election, excitement about the...
Update:9 hours 55 min
Texas Tribune
“I Can Cook, Too”
Update:17 hours 26 min
Houston's Clear Thinkers
A Loftier View of the Houston Ship Channel Can’t stop celebrating the Houston Ship Channel’s recent centennial, but unable to make it to that exhibit downtown? Do...
Update:1 day 3 hours
Swamplot
The Ship Channel’s Folk History on View  Houston Arts Alliance’s Stories of a Workforce: Celebrating the Centennial of the Houston Ship Channel, an exhibit running through...
Update:1 day 5 hours
Swamplot
Comment of the Day: Zone d’ Erotica Is a Symbol of Houston Freedom “I’ve always thought the Zone D’Erotica placement was one of the most charming things about Houston. Welcome to Houston: you own...
Update:1 day 6 hours
Swamplot
This Sleek, Beaming William Floyd Mod in Memorial Bend Is Asking $798,900 In Memorial Bend, a neighborhood known for its operatic street names and steadily dwindling collection of midcentury modern inventory,...
Update:1 day 7 hours
Swamplot
Houses Around Booker T. Washington High School Are Boarded Up and Look Ready To Go Demos appear to be ready to commence on a good-sized swath of Independence Heights surrounding Booker T. Washington High School at 119...
Update:1 day 8 hours
Swamplot
Daily Demolition Report: The Orchid Thief We must adapt — or be left behind. Commercial Structures 5565 Gasmer Dr. 77035 (Westbury Manor Apartments; Bldg....
Update:1 day 10 hours
Swamplot
Might Texas revisit needle exchange pilots with Susan Reed gone, disease prevention in the news? Grits wonders if - owing to recent events surrounding the Ebola scare and the outlandish costs of Hepatitis C treatment under new drug...
Update:1 day 11 hours
Grits for Breakfast
Leaving Santa Fe’s Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Be; The Silver Lining of Metro’s Light Rail Delay Stream Realty Partners Breaks Ground on Remington Square Phase II 8-Story Spec Office Building [Prime Property] Lennar Homes Starts...
Update:1 day 11 hours
Swamplot
Tiger Woods’ Houston Golf Design
Update:1 day 18 hours
Houston's Clear Thinkers
Obama defies Congress, pushes ahead with immigration plan Texas officials say they’re prepared to follow through on their pledge to fight Obama’s order in court, but advocates say his...
Update:2 days 34 min
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Extremely Large Pool by Lake Livingston Features 15-Car Garage, 180K Gallons of Water, 60 Palm Trees, $3M Price Tag Lake Livingston laps near the lazy river meandering within a whopper-scaled waterfront pool (top) at a 2006 property that also boasts a...
Update:2 days 3 hours
Swamplot
Goldman May Hear Harsh Words at Hearing, But Has Backed Many on Panel Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein.(flickr/World Economic Forum) As Goldman Sachs prepares for more unwelcome publicity tomorrow at a Senate...
Update:2 days 4 hours
Open Secrets
NOVEMBER 20 / The one and only thing . . . . . . you need to read to understand why President Barack Hussein Obama is doing what he is doing, why it is wrong, and how he will get...
Update:2 days 4 hours
Unca Darrell
Sen. Cruz cites Cicero: 'We ... are waiting in our duty to stop this lawless Administration' U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, today invoked a speech from 2,000 years ago to criticize President Barack Obama's expected executive action on...
Update:2 days 4 hours
Star-Telegram's PoliTex
Construction Set To Begin on the Luxury Jewel Box, the Galleria’s Chi-Chi Pad Site As of December 1, Galleria tenants and workers who park in the Blue Garage fronting Westheimer (labeled “Construction Zone”...
Update:2 days 4 hours
Swamplot
Inside Intelligence: About That Coming Session... Conversations about the election are wearing thin and the talk about the upcoming...
Update:2 days 4 hours
Texas Tribune
Courtney Zavala to leave KPRC 2 and TV KPRC 2 anchor Courtney Zavala is saying goodbye to TV and KPRC 2 Courtney Zavala KPRC 2 weekend morning Courtney Zavala is calling it...
Update:2 days 6 hours
Mike McGuff
Top Texas priorities: border security and immigration Texas Republicans say the president shouldn’t take the issue of immigration into his own...
Update:2 days 6 hours
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Comment of the Day: How Mt. Yuppie Was Formed “When this place opened, there was a ‘oh no, here come the yuppies‘ reaction. Now, years later, it is closing and people...
Update:2 days 6 hours
Swamplot
Craig Hlavaty is biggest media turkey 2014 NewsFix kept the turkey title in the family Mike McGuff is back from the sick bed. It's been a horrible few days, but things are turning...
Update:2 days 6 hours
Mike McGuff
Looking into Houston’s Burger King Tree-Hacking Problem, Beginning Right Down the Street from the Kirby Dr. Wendy’s Fresh off receiving a $300,000 settlement for the unauthorized removal of 6 oak trees in the city right-of-way from Ali Dhanani and Haza...
Update:2 days 7 hours
Swamplot
Developer Buys Old City Codes Building PM Realty Group is under contract to purchase the city’s old code enforcement building at 3300 Main St. in Midtown. In 2011, facing...
Update:2 days 8 hours
Swamplot
Linesmithing: On a down week for College Football there is some opportunity. It happens this time every year.  The week before Thanksgiving and many of the top schools are either taking bye weeks or playing...
Update:2 days 8 hours
Cory Crow
We Want Your Feedback! (Image: Niclas Lindh, flickr) Now that the midterms are over, we’d like to take a moment to breathe — and to ask for your...
Update:2 days 10 hours
Open Secrets
Daily Demolition Report: Untanglewood Can’t stand losing. Can’t stand. Residences 3305 Jefferson St. 77003 (Powars & Tharp) 3311 Jefferson St. 77003 4810...
Update:2 days 10 hours
Swamplot
A Hop-on-Top Tower for Texas Children’s; How HPD Can Track Your Mobile Phone Texas Children’s Hospital To Build 19-Story Tower On Top of 6-Story Facility in the Texas Medical Center [Houston Business...
Update:2 days 11 hours
Swamplot
How times have changed: Reed gone in Bexar, McCrum cleared How quickly circumstances can change. Readers may recall this post from February suggesting that Bexar DA Susan Reed sought contempt...
Update:2 days 11 hours
Grits for Breakfast
Our Changing Earth
Update:2 days 18 hours
Houston's Clear Thinkers
Van de Putte to run for San Antonio mayor Two weeks after losing her bid for lieutenant governor, state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte announced Wednesday night that she would run for...
Update:2 days 21 hours
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Senate Keystone “Yea” Votes Took In Six Times More Oil & Gas Money Than Opponents Senate Democrats successfully blocked a bill Tuesday that would have approved construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. The controversial...
Update:3 days 53 min
Open Secrets
Houston Home Listing Photo of the Day: The Bed Frame 14814 Carolcrest St. [HAR] … Read...
Update:3 days 3 hours
Swamplot
With Industrial Complex Out Of the Way, More Sueba Apartments Are Posting Up on North Post Oak Here is a close-up view of an upcoming apartment complex that eastbound Hwy. 290 travelers might see to the west as they enjoy that new...
Update:3 days 4 hours
Swamplot
Comment of the Day: How To Grow the City Money on Trees “Hedge funds would blush at these returns. What did it cost the city to plant these suckers? $1k at most . . . And they got $50k...
Update:3 days 5 hours
Swamplot
The Next Big Event Planned for the Astrodome Will Be a Wash When was the last time anyone bothered to clean the exterior of the Astrodome? Long enough ago to merit media coverage for word that the...
Update:3 days 6 hours
Swamplot
Days After $300K Treecutting Settlement, Workers Are Back on the Job at the Kirby Dr. Wendy’s The snapper of this story-in-an-image pic taken of the construction site at 5003 Kirby Dr. tells Swamplot that construction crews went back...
Update:3 days 7 hours
Swamplot
Here’s James Harden and a TV Commercial Crew Showing What Montrose’s Siphon Coffee Looks Like as a Pizza Joint Minus the crew of bearded lookalikes with whom he toured the Galleria earlier this year, Houston Rockets guard James Harden shows off a...
Update:3 days 9 hours
Swamplot
Tweets
Karen Townsend | 2 years 3 months
"Patrick F. Kennedy is a career foreign service officer" - http://t.co/GOrCe0IS
Peter Corbett ✈ | 2 years 3 months
I'm at McCarran International Airport (LAS) w/ @almacy http://t.co/KvmId07i
KERA Public Media | 2 years 3 months
TONIGHT at 7pm on KERA TV: Presidential Debate: Learn more at PBS NewsHour. http://t.co/Z9kYdun8
PBS MediaShift | 2 years 3 months
Tech Snafus Make Bill O'Reilly/Jon Stewart 'Rumble' More of a Stumble http://t.co/4OfeBlrG (@kegill | @pbsmediashift) #rumble2012
Will Sullivan | 2 years 3 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 | 2 years 3 months
I-35W/North Tarrant Express #constantcontact http://t.co/QDzrQumu
keyetv | 2 years 3 months
Serial shotgun robbers suspects arrested. http://t.co/ka8T4U9B
Karen Townsend | 2 years 3 months
Aren't State Dept career people suppose to be non-partisan? Not the political appointees, the career people. #Libya
San Antonio Current | 2 years 3 months
Go ahead, chalk it up http://t.co/YMWpC5wM #satx #chalkitup
Caller.com | 2 years 3 months
Scanner: Bathroom on fire in 600 block of Virginia, CC fire dept. on the way
Ballotpedia | 2 years 3 months
Does your state offer early voting? Do you qualify? Find out! #election2012 http://t.co/eodxBYVD
Dallas Morning News | 2 years 3 months
Why a Dallas-area cycling coach believed Lance Armstrong was drug-free (video) http://t.co/gURdYkj1
Caller.com | 2 years 3 months
Dozens of illegal waste dumpers sentenced in Jim Wells Co.; others on the run: http://t.co/NgerCdsQ
Karen Townsend | 2 years 3 months
Consistently impressed w/raullabrador when I listen to him in Congressional hearings. #Libya
Cory Crow | 2 years 3 months
Diigo: United raises fares by up to $10 per round trip - Business - http://t.co/kWY8gwPV http://t.co/bw25JP5R
News 4 WOAI | 2 years 3 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 | 2 years 3 months
Mining Houston Garbage for Recycling and Compost Gold http://t.co/HMMBArMX
swamplot | 2 years 3 months
Daily Demolition Report: Tulane Highway http://t.co/JXmkSx11
KFDA NewsChannel10 | 2 years 3 months
Obama and Romney: Where they stand on the issues http://t.co/y3VrPfkM
Williamson County | 2 years 3 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