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Fort Worth Felony Indictment Raises Questions about State House Candidate


by: EricaP

Fri May 04, 2012 at 02:49 PM CDT


Is anybody following the story of the Fort Worth attorney who was indicted last week on felony charges of falsifying campaign records in the 2009 Arlington school board race?

The attorney, Mario Perez, seems to have a history of skirting the law, getting school board friends to steer lucrative contracts to his (now former) firm, Linebarger & Associates.

The story caught my eye because after Arlington ISD shifted its tax collection contract to Perez’ firm in late 2009, Fort Worth ISD followed suit a few months later.  According to Fort Worth Star Telegram reports on the decision, one of Perez’ “close friends” on the Fort Worth school board  -- Carlos Vasquez -- led the push to rebid the contract to Perez’ firm. 

Linda Campbell of the Star Telegram called the 2010 dump-n-hire “behind-the-scenes collusion involving a trio of trustees,” one of which is Vasquez.

If the Star Telegram account is correct, the “frequent contact” between Perez and Vasquez in the lead up to the vote, at the very least, appears to violate the board’s prohibition against contact between bidders and board members about the decision.

This raises some questions about Texas House member wannabe Vasquez’ role in the affair:  Was this the only potential legal violation in the contract re-bid, or were there others? 

What exactly is Perez’ relationship to Vasquez?  What else has “piqued the interest of the Travis County district attorney’s office” about the decision, who is implicated, and perhaps most importantly, is there something here voters should know before heading to the polls later this month?

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Nice try (5.00 / 1)
This is not even guilt by association.  This is attempted guilt by association to someone who has not been found guilty of anything.  If you want to bring up tax collection politics, why don't we include Burnam's longtime lobbying of both school board members and city Councilmembers to steer tax collection contracts to his campaign treasurer who is a competitor to Linebarger?  Wonder if Burnam was ever compensated for that (other than in campaign contributions)? He even notoriously even badgered the priest of one Councilmember to try to influence the vote for his campaign treasurer's law firm.

"Put the jam on the lower shelf where the little fellow can reach it." Sen. Ralph Yarborough

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