Bill King is a sailor. While I have never sailed with him, I am pretty sure that he has always returned to the dock with all his crew and passengers.
On the other hand, Sylvester Turner’s client “disappeared” in Galveston Bay and was later found in a Spanish prison…after the insurance paid on the life insurance claim. During Sylvester’s first campaign for Houston mayor in 1991, Wayne Dolcefino found him living in a house with Dwight Thomas (since the home Turner owned with his wife was outside the city). Dwight had introduced Sylvester to a man named Sylvester Foster – a “male model” and “hairdresser.” Turner prepared a will for Foster who then went missing from a boat in Galveston Bay and then worked to probate the will and have Foster declared dead in order to collect the life insurance funds. It is a story of insurance fraud but more importantly it is a story of character. Read on.
During his second race for mayor in 2003, Sylvester Turner taught Dave Wilson a trick or two. In 2003, Doris Hubbard, a campaign consultant for Sylvester’s 1991 failed bid for mayor, paid Brenda Flores to recruit a black Bill White to run against the white Bill White. An Acres Homes political organizer paid a white, rabble-rousing democratic political operative to recruit a guy with the same name to mislead and confuse voters so the black liberal dude could win his second mayoral bid. Would the white Bill White have a claim under the Sylvester Turner supported HERO ordinance? I love this stuff. It does not end here.
As you know, Bob Lanier beat Sylvester Turner in the 1991 mayor’s race. On Lanier’s inauguration day, Turner’s wife, Cheryl Gillum Turner, filed for divorce. On April 19, 1994, Cheryl Turner, a ten year veteran of the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, was deposed in Sylvester’s lawsuit against Wayne Dolcefino and Channel 13. During the divorce, Ms. Turner, an experienced attorney, signed an affidavit recounting Sylvester’s trysts (which she now recants). Sylvester has made his ex-wife an issue as he brought her out to refute the allegations made in her own affidavit and deposition.
On May 19, 2005, Cheryl Turner was indicted by a Harris County Grand Jury for misapplication of fiduciary property – or stealing between $100,000 and $200,000 of client funds. After a year and a half of court appearances, on September 9, 2006, Cheryl Turner pled guilty to the second degree felony and was sentenced to ten years in prison. A few months later, Turner was released and placed on a ten year probation (to end in January 2017) with a condition that Turner pay $63,000 in restitution to the complainant. On December 15, 2005, the Texas Supreme Court accepted Turner’s resignation from the State Bar of Texas. That order lists nine complainants and over $180,000 in stolen funds.
In May 2012, Turner’s attorney filed a motion asking the court to subtract $30,000 paid to the complainant in the criminal case by the State Bar of Texas.
-$30,000 (State Bar of Texas)
-$14,859 (approximate restitution paid by Turner from January 2006 – May 2012)
$18,141 (restitution owed)
A few months later, in December 2012, Marc Brown signed an order terminating Turner’s probation – four years early. Why was Turner’s restitution reduced by money paid by the State Bar of Texas? Was Turner able to pay $18,141 from May – December 2012? Was the probation terminated before Turner paid all the restitution owed? Was Turner treated differently than other thieves?
Over the years, Sylvester Turner has closely aligned himself with special interest groups including public employee unions. We know that the police and fire unions endorsed Sylvester Turner for mayor even before this election season began. This should furrow your brow.
Good citizens of the city should also question Turner’s alignment with people like Stephen “king of conflicts” Costello and Cindy Clifford. Following the general election, Costello was quick to endorse Sylvester: “Sylvester and I agree that ReBuild Houston [READ: RAIN TAX] is a good baseline infrastructure program that can and must be improved to meet the needs and expectations of Houstonians.” I was not surprised to hear Costello continue to support his rain tax. The remainder of Costello’s statement should cause Houstonians great alarm: “Sylvester Turner is the best candidate to connect all of Houston through multi-modal transportation, and I look forward to working with him on critical transportation issues like commuter rail.” I fully expect Turner, if elected, to appoint Costello as the Chair of METRO. In a time when our city is in dire financial straits, the father of our rain tax needs to quickly exit stage left. The connection between Turner and Costello should cause Houstonians to run to the polls for Bill King.
Turner is also very close to Cindy Clifford – a “lobbyist” and “strategic marketing specialist.” Recent stories have questioned Clifford’s failed adherence to the city’s procurement and lobbying rules. After Clifford’s client received the latest airport contract earlier this year, Clifford received a citation for shoving a fellow lobbyist at City Hall. There is a reason why Clifford’s Twitter feed is filled with Turner stories. She and her buddies (like Annise Parker) are scared to death that Bill King could come in and make the city’s politics honest.
This is one of the most important city elections of my lifetime. When you think about the upcoming race, think about the massive cronyism machine that will be cranking down at City Hall with a Turner administration. Sylvester Turner as mayor could mean the death of a once great city. The very people who have bankrupted the city are desperate to get Turner elected. If Turner is elected, there is only one thing to do – abandon ship!