Legal documents reveal Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo’s investigation, $ 11M COVID-19 vaccine outreach contract
Legal documents reveal Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo’s investigation, $ 11M COVID-19 vaccine outreach contract

Legal documents reveal Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo’s investigation, $ 11M COVID-19 vaccine outreach contract

HOUSTON – Trials revealed new details about the investigation of Judge Lina Hidalgo’s office and a contract worth almost $ 11 million for the COVID-19 vaccine.

One week after the Texas Rangers executed a search warrant, the documents say investigators searched electronics such as computers and phones, looking for evidence of manipulation of a government document and misuse of official information.

“These are serious allegations of public corruption,” said KPRC 2 legal analyst Brian Wice. “This statement suggests that there is probable cause to believe that evidence for not one, but two crimes exists.”

The documents say county officials allegedly shared information about the project with Elevate Strategies, the supplier who got the contract, before a request for proposals became public.

When it came time to evaluate the answers, the documents say an employee wrote in a text: “This vaccine-seeking thing is getting ridiculous. We need to slam the door on UT and move on.”

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The county also received a proposal from the UTHealth Science Center, according to the records.

When the employee was later asked if he could hold a meeting, the documents stated that he sent a text message: “No. Take it away. And do not let UT get it.”

A lawyer for Judge Lina Hidalgo said in a statement, “The misleading story in today’s publication is the latest act of political theater from a politically motivated investigation. Ultimately, this was about dedicated public servants trying to get the best team to “Fighting COVID-19 in Harris County. Since taking office, Judge Hidalgo has held himself and his staff to the highest ethical standards and is the only official who rejects donations from all county suppliers.”

Harris County Commissioner Jack Cagle said he voted against moving forward in the contract negotiation process.

“Look at the documents and the exchanges that took place and who knows what was acquired in the search itself,” Cagle said. “These were the documents that were used to get a judge to grant a search, so this is just the tip of the iceberg.”

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The prosecution acknowledged the search warrants in a statement but did not say much more.

KPRC 2 contacted Elevate for a comment but has not yet heard back.

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