Boards Doling Out Taxpayer Dollars to Come Under More Scrutiny

The three musketeers temporarily monitoring the Greater Brownsville Incentives Corporation definitely want out.  

City Commissioner Cesar de Leon unhesitatingly says:  "I will definitely quit this board as soon as it's functioning correctly."

Commissioners Tetreau and Portillo echo that sentiment.  All three commissioners realize that it's actually inappropriate for this board of 5 to be dominated by 3 city commissioners.  The whole concept of separating so-called 4A and 4B funds from the general fund was to remove politics from those projects.  Yet, there is this distinct impression in Brownsville that these two boards, the GBIC and the BCIC, steer, guide and gift taxpayer monies into the hands of individuals, companies and even charities controlled by certain major players in the city.


City Commissioner Cesar de Leon
Agenda item #7 at Thursday evening's GBIC board meeting was aimed precisely exercising greater control over the dispersal of these taxpayers monies, which in recent years have totaled nearly $10,000,000 per annum: Discussion and possible action to appoint a performance committee for the purposes set forth in Paragraph III of the GBIC service contract with BEDC.

De Leon hinted as the board exited for an executive session that if Nena and I could stay around he wanted to show us the finer points of the GBIC contract with BEDC he'd discovered.  

After executive session, the meeting resumed with board president Jessica Tetreau calling for City Auditor Arvin Tucker, Elizabeth Rodriquez and "someone in accounting from UT-RGV" to be named to the performance committee.  


City Commissioner Deborah Portillo
Such a committee will be charged with determining if "nepotism, conflict of interest or lack of ethics" have been involved in dispersing GBIC funds.  

Later, as De Leon shared points from the service contract with us after the meeting, Commissioner Portillo added from over his shoulder:  "Tell them the BCIC will be included in this audit."  

An interesting exchange had occurred earlier, following the reading of the GBIC financial report, not by City Finance Director Lupe Granado, but by an underling sent in his place.  At last months GBIC meeting, Commissioner Tetreau questioned an undefined $417,000 expense.  Before Granado could explain, BEDC President Jason Hilts interupted:  "Oh, that's for trade shows and marketing."

The commissioners were not happy with that explanation and asked for a more detailed accounting.  With Granado a no-show and his assistant unfamiliar with the expenditure, Tetreau again raised the question.  The staffer promised more information would be forthcoming.

"Next month or in a few days?"  asked board member David Betancourt.  The staffer promised he would get the information "in a few days."

"The times, they are a-changing."

Please note: Last month we reported Deborah Portillo was selected GBIC Vice-President. That is incorrect.  Jessica Tetreau was named President, Cesar de Leon, Vice-President and John Cowen, Secretary. 

Comments

  1. Sounds all good and fine , but it's just bullshit as usual . If they need to appoint a committee to answer those questions , then, they really don't deserve to be on the board . Everybody knows the money has not been dispersed in an ethical way or to benefit the taxpayers . Portillo makes me sick; nothing but a "United Brownsville "puppet in over her head with all the other greedy vultures .

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    1. Moaning from the upper deck is useless. Get in the game, fool!

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  2. Lupe was on vacation, give him a break. He attends most of the meetings he's assigned to.

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    1. Yes, Lupe is dutiful and we don't begrudge him his vacation, but he had ONE MONTH to provide the details he promised about the $417,000 expenditure and he hasn't delivered on his promise. He could simply have included the information in the report delivered by his assistant. $417,000 of taxpayer money and no accounting as to how it was spent except for Jason Hilts obtuse designation of "marketing and trade shows."

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    2. You go, Jim! Nail their feet to the floor and rip their toenails out with rusty pliers! Beat their shins with a claw hammer! Pour hot salt water on their genitals then use a cattle prod!
      No, not to get information, just on general principle.

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  3. The GBIC was created in 1990 as a none political board to fund economic development entities and not for commissioners to get appointed to the board to fund pet projects as has been going on. GBIC is supposed to be made up with citizens with a business background. I was mayor when this entity was created, thanks to our then city manager Kirby Illjedah. We appointed people like Rey Lopez and now the board is made up of people that could not operate a snow cone stand, but come to think of it, the standard forleadership in Brownsville is one of mediocrity or worse, scammers.

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  4. Pat, you used gbic to fleece the city for millions with fly frontera. You agreed to pay for half of the seat sales on EVERY FLIGHT!!! You are a fucking moron and half to accuse the current gbic board for funding pet projects. YOU SIR are an embarrassment and blemish in our history books for your crooked dealings, arrests, the check, the dogs, etc.

    Jim Barton, please remind Pat Ahumada how you worked relentlessly to save gbic dollars from being squandered to Carlos Quintanilla!

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  5. And for the record Pat, you shouldn't make fun of people who can't operate a snow cone machine if you can't even read the checks you deposit into your bank account. Sometimes I think it would save you a world of embarrassment if you would think before you make statements that apply to yourself more than the current situation.

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  6. Anonymous 1:58 AM, Let's look at this a little closer. You have people on the commission without business experience and the one that does has used them to fleece the taxpayer. Based on their service, I would not trust any of them to operate a snow cone stand, just look at how they have mismanaged the city and compare this to a honest mistake made with a check that I did not deposit. As court records will substantiate by testimony given and a verdict of innocent, I submitted a check to the teller for deposit, because I did not have my glasses. The teller filled out the deposit slip knowing I was not payee, instead of returning the check. After the deposit was made, the night depository review staff at the bank did not catch that the deposit was made by the teller who filled out the deposit slip by mistake. Three weeks later, when the erroneous deposit into my account was made, I got a call to that effect and I returned the money immediately. IMMEDIATELY! I had substantial over draft privileges at this bank and had $10,000 over draft privileges at what use to be First National Bank, so money was not an issue for me and no motive. Once I was notified of the error made by Texas State Bank (now BBVA Compass), I notified Pete Gonzalez the Finance Director with the city of the mistake and asked that it be investigated how this check got to me. Pete recommended this matter be corrected internally, but I refused to go that route and clearly told him that if we did the correction internally where no one would know, it would appear I did something wrong and had something to hid and I said NO! I put in writing what happened and asked for an investigation. This is where the vindictive police chief Carlos Garcia came into the the picture and pushed hard to indict me with the support of members on the commission who wanted me out and the city manager. The police chief went to the FBI to get them involved to indict me, but the FBI did not take the bait, because these type of incidents happen daily in banking where honest mistakes are made and corrected, with no criminal intent. But, the opportunity was to tempting for my foes that included Atkinson, Carlos Garcia, the City Manager and others and they pushed hared to have indicted with the help of Armando Villalobos whose Karma has provided justice for those like me that he tried to frame. Unfortuantley, I paid the price and the eager beavers wanting my head did the damage. What is interesting is why did I get indicted, when the offense did not rise to the level of indictment when there was no intent, no missing money and no record of wrong doing as a public servant in all my years in public service, not even a relative or friend had been hired with my influence and I paid for a lot of my travel. I devoted 24/7 to the city and always stood up for what was right. I spoke up against those who would take advantage of the city and decisions were made to improve the city by me as mayor or PUB Board member.

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  7. Part 2 Anoymous 1:58 AM, The other interesting part in all this is that why did the city signed the complaint against me? Was it to get me out of the way and to ruin me? Of course, because like Atkinson said, I did not know how to play ball and look at the present ball players who have taken our city to the lowest depths of bad government. I think they would have preferred that I would have said yes to taking care of the inadvertent check deposit internally, that was they would have something on me so I would look the other way when management and commissioners wanted to do things that were not in the best interest of the city, just as it is now between the city manager and commissioners. They all have skeletons and use each other to get what they want.

    Ask yourself, why would Pete Gonzalez as Finance Director keep a log of checks picked up at his office or delivered and copies made of the checks issued and signed for be destroyed as they destroyed all this evidence before trial? I tell you why, because they could never place me at the scene of the allege crime. In all the 25 years that I have dealt with the city, I never set foot up in the Finance Department up to that date that they say I stole the check and Pete knew it as, he also knew that he offered to handle the incident internally and no one would know. The city manager Cabler, chief of police Carlos Garcia and Finance Department Pete Gonzalez conspired to push for my conviction, which would have given me 30 years in prison. During the initial part of the investigation and trial, I was offered a plea deal that would have guaranteed my freedom and no criminal record, providing I resigned as mayor. The plea was offered through my attorney, which I emphatically turned down, because I would have preferred to shoot my brains than to accept guilt for something I did not do. If I had been found guilty, I would have done exactly that. However, God was with me and the politics was seen by the jurors and Carlos Garcia, Cabler and Gonzalez all will get their KARMA.

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  8. Part 3, Anonymous 1:58 AM, So, back to our elected leaders who I would not trust to operate a snow cone stand, it is clear that public service to them is a game. A game of winning at any cost, a game of cutting deals and self service. A game that ignores the right from wrong. A game that produces little to make our city great. In spite of them, good things happen, but how much more could happen if they were truly public servants. You can accuse me of everything you want and blame me for all you want, but the record upon examination will show that I introduced initiatives and got many things done under very difficult circumstances, while these elected leaders who flock together seem not to be able to do meaningful things other than throw us a bone once in a while to appease us, but it is more that they are forced to do so than caring about our city. We have a budget that is huge when you combine the city and PUB, but they seem not to comprehend the impact they have when they enter into deals like Casa Nylon, Tenaska, giving Cabler a raise when our employees are ignored and our streets need paving. So, Anonymous, yes-I made a mistake in thinking a check was mine, but it wasn't and took the steps to corrected it, while those you defend throw away millions. MY mistake pales by their actions and your support says a lot about you. Now that we know who some of the special interest players are, we must start early to find candidates to run against them to take our city back. Blogger, thank you for giving me the opportunity to respond to Anonymous 1:58 AM.

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  9. Pat I'm going to be honest with you. I didn't read more than three sentences of your ramblings. Everything that comes out of your mouth is nonsense or excuses. Do yourself a favor and find a cause other than "saving" our city. you are part of the reason the people of our city need saving. You are the villain that robbed us of our potential.

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  10. We have collectively robbed Brownsville of its potential. The problem was never dirt bag Pat 'borracho' Ahumada. He is not a crook. He's just an idiot that continues to embarrass himself. The larger problem is the bola de pendejos that would elect a fucking moron like Pat as their mayor. 'We' got what we deserved; nothing. Can you expect anything more from a scum bag with an 8th grade education? The white speck on the chicken shit is that pendejo Pat wasn't smart enough to fuck us as bad as he could have. Pat is not a thief. He's an idiot. It's about time these three, or anyone, came to the rescue. Jason 'elote en el culo' Hiltz has been robbing us all blind with ambiguous accounting. His on staff hooker is in turn robbing him blind! He funnels his fraud and our money to Colombia for his retirement, but that fat hooker will kill him as soon as he gets there. For Jason, I guess that's better than prison. The jig is up, the shit is in route to the fan, and the Feds have a slam dunk case against Jason as an international criminal. He better hope he does his time in the US and not Colombia. Once a thief, always a thief. He's gonna have a long letter to write to Gilbert 'el mamalon' for getting him locked up too. Hopefully poor Lupe can escape it all with a small negligence charge in exchange for his witness. Enjoy the show!
    And for fuck's sake Pat shut up, go away, you're an idiot, irrelevant, and full of bad ideas, bad advice, and are a self incriminating idiot.

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  11. ::claps slowly at anonymous 11:57::

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