Report: City of Houston used shell company to pay out millions to Houston First employees

Rare | 3/2/2018 | Gerald Hanks
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An investigative report reveals the City of Houston employed a dummy corporation to funnel payments from city accounts to Houston First, the “quasi-governmental” agency charged with promoting tourism to the Bayou City.

According to a local TV news report, the city used a shell corporation, Convention and Cultural Services, Inc. (CCSI), to transfer payments between the city and Houston First. When an investigative reporter asked City Council members about CCSI, they claimed they’ve never heard of the company. References to CCSI also do not appear on budget documents or external audits for Houston First.

Report - City - Funds - CCSI - Houston

The report uncovered at least $20 million in city funds went to CCSI to pay Houston First’s employees. Out of Houston First’s 232 employees, records showed 60 of them had annual salaries exceeding $100,000, with another ten earning salaries above $200,000.

Houston First was founded in 2011 as...
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