houston — Outside Mayor Sylvester Turner’s office on the steps of Houston City Hall, two dozen people stood with a clear message on their shirts: “End Corruption in Houston. ”
“It’s a problem. It’s a pervasive problem,” shipping business owner Towana Bryant said of the abuse of small business owners who were part of the city’s contract.
One owner summed it up simply as follows, “As a minority, female or small certified business in the city, you are in serious infection waters,” said the Vietnamese business owner.
Chyna Gragg, who owns a roofing business, claims that many minority business owners are not being treated fairly by prime general contractors.
So, according to Gragg and others, they’re not getting what they deserve. The reason, according to one business owner, is “they know we don’t have the ability to fight back.”
Grager said she has a case pending in federal court.
Assemblyman Michael Kubosh is not awaiting trial to make a judgment.
“It’s wrong when you have a handful of contractors who are contracting and they’re not getting paid by the prime minister, or they’re being mistreated by the prime minister, and the city does nothing,” Kubosh said.
Friday’s news conference comes about a month before a federal judge will rule on William Paul Thomas’ public corruption case. The former Houston mayor, a frequent presence at Mayor Turner’s side, was convicted in July of a bribery-related conspiracy.
Activist Quanel X highlighted the Thomas case at a news conference on Friday.
“I blame those who worked closely with William Paul Thomas,” X said.
X went on to add that this is just another example of what many have claimed has been part of the Turner administration for some time.
“We’re here to tackle the corrupt culture. The pay-to-play program is in place. There’s a serious problem that needs to be addressed,” X said.
Late Friday, the mayor’s office issued the following statement:
“The Davis-Bacon and Related Act (DBRA) Division of the City of Houston’s Housing and Community Development (HCD) Division of Compliance has assessed underpayment of workers at Brazoria Construction’s 900 Winston development, a subcontractor of Rise Construction The assessment found that Brazoria Construction failed to pay workers the prevailing wages determined by the U.S. Department of Labor. As a result, the prime contractor, Royal American Construction, was notified of the issue and requested a compensation inspection for the affected Brazoria Construction employees, when the prime contractor’s share The same goes for the procedure when the contractor fails to meet DBRA standards. Rise Construction, the subcontractor who hired Brazoria Construction as a sub-contractor, paid compensation to the affected Brazoria Construction workers; Resolved. The City of Houston is actively reviewing this matter and to date has found no information to suggest that it has refused to release documents in violation of the TPIA and is not aware of any such complaints.”
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