This article is over 9 years old

Elections

Houston Mayoral Candidate Ben Hall Accuses Mayor Parker Of Graft, Corruption

Former city attorney Ben Hall is bringing strong accusations against Mayor Annise Parker as he seeks to unseat her in the Houston mayoral election. Hall calls Parker a corrupt mayor who trades city contracts for campaign contributions.

Listen

To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code:

<iframe src="https://embed.hpm.io/88431/46658" style="height: 115px; width: 100%;"></iframe>
X

Mayoral candidate Ben Hall didn’t hold back at a press conference on the steps of City Hall.

“It is with a heavy heart and quite regrettable that I have to announce this morning that the City of Houston is a victim of a mayor who is a shakedown artist.”

Hall accuses Mayor Parker of running a pay-to-play system.

And he says city contractors are being threatened that they won’t get any more work from the city if they support Hall’s campaign. 

Hall says he’s asked the Harris County District Attorney to get involved and alluded to, but wouldn’t confirm, the possibility of a grand jury investigation.

Meanwhile, Mayor Parker’s campaign calls the allegations absurd.

Campaign Spokesperson Sue Davis says the contribution’s to Parker’s election campaign are legal and ethical and that Parker has nothing to hide.

“We’ll have a serious discussion with Ben Hall about ethics as soon as he comes clean about not paying his back taxes and why he took a million dollar job from someone to whom he steered a city contract to.”

Davis is referring to a contract given to John O’Quinn’s law firm when Hall was the city attorney.

The O’Quinn firm later hired Hall away from the city when Hall was under investigation for allegedly steering contracts to certain companies.

Subscribe to Today in Houston

Fill out the form below to subscribe our new daily editorial newsletter from the HPM Newsroom.

* required

Laurie Johnson-Ramirez

Laurie Johnson-Ramirez

News Director

Laurie Johnson-Ramirez leads news coverage for Houston Public Media across broadcast and digital platforms. Ramirez is a native Houstonian who started her career at Houston Public Media in 2002. Before becoming News Director, Ramirez held the position of Executive Producer for Daily News, leading daily and breaking news coverage, helping...

More Information