Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Texas Conflict of Interest Laws Made Simple Enough For Fort Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief To Understand

I have a slight problem, at times, confusing my dreams with reality. It is now obvious to me that I was dreaming when I said I had had a long talk with Fort Worth Mayor, Mike Moncrief, in which I was able to get him to understand why he is committing a serious crime with his Conflicts of Interest involving his Barnett Shale Natural Gas Drilling Company holdings and he being mayor in a town that's getting drilled.

Apparently, I was also dreaming when I said that Moncrief had agreed to use his ill gotten gains to fund the Fosdic Lake Dam Vision.

See that dollar bill with Mike Moncrief on top of George Washington? Moncrief makes over 600,000 of those dollar bills, annually, from his holdings in each of the gas drillers drilling in Fort Worth.

Now, there are those in Fort Worth, like the city's attorney, who do not think the Conflict of Interest laws apply to Fort Worth or Mike Moncrief. Both the city attorney and Mike Moncrief apparently are ignorant of the fact that the State of Texas has quite strict, precise Conflict of Interest Laws.

The State of Texas even conveniently put an explanation of the Texas Conflict of Interest laws on a website, under the title 2010 Texas Conflict of Interest Laws Made Easy.

Made so easy, in fact, that I'm almost certain a simpleton, like Fort Worth's mayor and his city attorney might finally understand that Moncrief is breaking the law and needs to be removed from office, jailed and fined, now that the Conflicts of Interests have grown so dire with Moncrief in cahoots with a corrupt company like Chesapeake Energy in their abuse of eminent domain in a basically Nazi-like attack on Steve Doeung and the citizens on Carter Avenue.

I think I'll send a letter to the FBI today. Surely it's time the feds intervene in Fort Worth now that the political racketeering has reached its current level of corruption.

Below is a short excerpt from 2010 Texas Conflict of Interest Laws Made Easy. Read it and ask yourself how in the world the Mayor of Fort Worth and his idiot attorney can claim he has no Conflict of Interest when he owns a piece of the drilling companies and looks the other way while they steal Trinity River water, abuse eminent domain and pollute the air?

What conflict of interest laws apply to local public officials in Texas?

The general conflict of interest law for Texas city and county officials, as well as officials of other Texas political subdivisions, is found in chapter 171 of the Texas Local Government Code. Chapter 171 establishes the standard for determining when a local official has a conflict of interest that would affect the ability to discuss, decide or vote on a particular item. Chapter 171 conflict of interest provisions apply to all local public officials. Within a governmental unit, “local public officials” are defined to include:

1) elected officials such as the members of the city council or county commissioners (whether paid or unpaid); and

2) appointed officials (paid or unpaid) who exercise responsibilities that are more than advisory in nature.

It should be noted that other state and federal laws, as well as local provisions in the case of cities, may be applicable to officials in a particular situation. Whether a law is applicable depends on the activity that the official is undertaking. Officials should work with local legal counsel to determine whether their activities are subject to any such provisions. However, the general conflict of interest provision for officials remains chapter 171 of the Local Government Code.

What types of issues are covered by Texas conflict of interest laws?

Texas conflict of interest statutes do not address every conceivable conflict that may arise for a local official. In fact, chapter 171 conflict laws are generally financial in nature and only cover two types of conflicts of interest:

1) Business Entity conflicts: Conflicts due to a local official's substantial financial interest in a business entity and that has an issue before his or her governmental unit;


2) Real Property conflicts: Conflicts due to a local official's substantial financial interest in a real property and that would be affected by his or her governmental unit's action.

What is considered a “substantial interest” in a business entity (such that it would amount to a potential conflict of interest)?

There are four ways that a person could be deemed to have a “substantial interest” in a business entity that would raise a potential conflict of interest. A person has a substantial interest in a business entity if the person has a(n):

1) Stock interest: If the official owns 10 percent or more of the total voting stock or shares of the business entity;

2) Other ownership interest: If the official owns either 10 percent or more, or $15,000 or more, of the fair market value of the business entity;

3) Income interest: If the official received more than 10 percent of his or her gross income for the previous year from the business entity;

4) Close family member with any of the above interests: If a close relative of the local official has any of the above types of interest in a business entity. A local official is considered to have the same interest in a business entity that his or her close relatives have in that business entity. In this context, close relatives of an official would include persons who are related to the official within the first degree by consanguinity (blood) or affinity (marriage). Such relatives would include an official father, father-in-law, mother, mother-in-law, daughter, daughter-in-law, son, son-in-law and the spouse of the official.


Cheap Tricks and Costly Truths said...

Dang Durango! Y'all got all kinds of conflict of interest going on in Fort Worth! From reading, I'm assuming Real Property is the issue with Mayor Mike? I wonder if he has the Affidavit on file like he's suppose to have?

Durango said...

Owning dividend paying stock in the Barnett Shale natural gas drilling companies is the bad mayor's main Conflict of Interest. I highly doubt the corrupt mayor has filed anything. The Fort Worth City Attorney tells the mayor he has no Conflict of Interest. Moncrief's wife also gets gas driller dividends. Which just adds to the level of Conflict.

TXsharon said...

These conflicts exist all over the shale with the exception of DISH, Texas where the Mayor and Council members have refused all attempts to corrupt them.

You're doing a great job exposing this Durango.

Durango said...

Thanks TXsharon. I try my best to do a good job.

Jovan Gonzales said...

Dango, I've been looking at Mr. MonGrief's (like what I did with that?) voting numbers and they're pretty abysmal. I think, and I'm being serious here, that he could easily be ousted with enough voter turnout against him.

It's not like the people of FW vote.

On a side note: you might wanna just make a call in to the feds, it'll be better that way!

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