Texas District Judge Chief of Staff, ex-employee charged in connection with $11M COVID outreach deal

By | April 11, 2022

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Two former aides to the elected executive branch, known as the district judge, which oversees the central governing body of Texas’ largest district, and their chief of staff are named on felony charges reported Monday in connection with an investigation into an $11 million contract for COVID were submitted -19 range.

According to court documents, Aaron Dunn, Wallis Nader and Alex Triantaphyllis are each charged with misusing official information and manipulating records.

Triantaphyllis is chief of staff to Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, a Democrat. Nader and Dunn were employed in Hidalgo’s office as political director and political adviser, respectively.

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The charges come after an investigation into a COVID-19 outreach contract awarded in June 2021 to Elevate Strategies, a one-person consulting firm run by a political strategist with a limited track record, which did not receive the highest score in the bidding process , Fox This was reported by the news agency KRIV-TV.

Hidalgo, considered by many to be a rising star in the Texas Democratic Party, has dismissed the review of the agreement as political shenanigans.

Fox News has reached out to her office, attorney and the Harris County Attorney’s Office.

The three employees were part of a committee that selected Elevate Strategies despite receiving lower scores in the bidding process. After polling applicants, the panel unanimously chose the company, which is owned by Felicity Pereyra, who previously worked on Democratic campaigns, the Texas Tribune reported.

Hidalgo eventually terminated the contract amid criticism, saying it had been politicized.

Jack Cagle, a Republican district commissioner who began asking questions about the treaty last year, said he “takes no pleasure in being right about it.”

“This is a big black eye for Harris County,” he tweeted. “Now it’s time for the courts to sort it out.”

In March, the Texas Rangers executed search warrants at Harris County offices and confiscated laptops, desktop computers and phones related to the investigation. Another search warrant released last week and first reported by KTRK-TV said investigators looked into the Google accounts of Hidalgo and six senior executives at her office.

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