West U City Council to discuss D.A. investigation on Monday

April 8, 2016

Monday’s regularly scheduled West University City Council meeting will see council discuss, among other items, matters related to the Harris County District Attorney’s’ investigation of City Council members alleged Open Meetings violations surrounding the the firing of then West U City Manager, Michael Ross.

The discussion will be geared towards the possible payment or reimbursement of legal fees — using taxpayer money —  incurred by those council members that were investigated.

At the March 28 City Council meeting, council member Brennan Reilly led the charge to have the council discuss the D.A.’s investigation. At that meeting, the D.A.’s investigation was a future agenda item — a list of future short and long term items — but Reilly argued to have the council discuss it at the April 11 meeting.

Council member Bob Kelly agreed with Reilly to have the agenda item be discussed sooner rather than later.

“It is a chilling effect to get people to run for office if they think that somebody can mosey down to the DA’s office and filed a complaint against the entire city council,” said Kelly at that meeting.

Reilly has sought reimbursement for the legal fees before in council meetings but council member Mardi Turner answered that request.

“We were told we were not going to be reimbursed,” said Turner at that meeting.

Both council member Kelly and Reilly have claimed to have been “exonerated” but Marco Patino of the D.A.’s office could not confirm to InstantNewsWestU.com wheter the investigation was completed. Patino added that his office wouldn’t and couldn’t comment on the status of the investigation.

Without knowing whether the D.A. has cleared or charged a council member it’s impossible to know how much — if any — reimbursement is to take place.

Other agenda items set for Monday’s meeting include giving final approval to the proposed ordinance to increase water rates by 0.50 percent effective May 1. The rate increase is a result of the City of Houston increasing its treated water rates towards West University Place.

The meeting is slated to start at 6:30 p.m. at 3800 University Boulevard.