Houston City Councilmember Carol Alvarado is temporarily stepping down as Mayor Pro Tem after four of her employees received improper incentive bonuses. Alvarado says she had no knowledge of the pay increases, but she accepts full responsibility for what happened.
“Clearly this is not what I would prefer, but I think it is the right thing to do for the Houston City Council and for the city as a whole. I am confident that the grand jury will conclude, as the Office of Inspector General did, that I did nothing to condone this theft of taxpayers’ money, nor was I aware that it was taking place.”
The city’s office of inspector general found that four employees in the mayor pro tem office received bonuses or salary increases totaling $143,500. The city adminstrator will hold hearings tomorrow for those four employees. The hearings are required under civil service law to terminate employment. Houston Mayor Bill White says the report reveals a pattern of misconduct.
“Culpability varies between the employees and generally the most senior people, based on my review of the document, seems to have been most culpable. Employees in that office improperly used the delegation of signature authority by Mayor Pro Tem Carol Alvarado to obtain improper payments.”
The mayor says in his reading of the report he finds nothing to indicate Alvarado had any part in the wrongdoing. The mayor pro tem office could undergo a grand jury investigation.