HOUSTON – Houston Community College Trustee Dave Wilson on Thursday announced an investigation into misconduct.
Wilson said that Wayne Dolcefino will lead the investigation into the school after Chris Oliver's recent bribery conviction.
Wilson expressed his disappointment in Oliver's actions and felt the school needed an independent investigation for the benefit of the students.
Oliver, 53, was originally charged March 9 and pleaded guilty May 15.
Oliver admitted he accepted bribes in exchange for the promise of official actions related to his duties as a member of the Houston Community College Board of Trustees, according to authorities.
Oliver met with another individual on several occasions at various restaurants and coffee shops in Houston, where he accepted cash payments in exchange for promising to use his position to help that person secure contracts with the college, authorities said.
At a special meeting last month, Board Chair Eva L. Loredo announced that she had removed Oliver from his committee and went directly into executive session to discuss options for legal action against Oliver.
Board members could not lawfully remove Chris Oliver from the board because he is an elected official.
The board came into open session, saying they would remove Oliver as Vice Chair, remove him from all committees and made him ineligible for election to board officer position for college fiscal year '17-'18.
Oliver is also ineligible for any reimbursements for any college-related travel for the remainder of '16-'17 and '17-'18 school year. He will also not have access to his remaining funds in his board account for community affairs.
HCC Chancellor Cesar Maldonado issued this statement:
"The Houston Community College administration strives to be open and transparent in all aspects of our business. We want to assure the students and community that our faculty and staff are qualified and committed to providing meaningful programs that support academic achievement and workforce development for all our students.
"Our main mission is continuing with our goal of creating the ultimate student experience, promoting student success and preparing for the fall semester, which begins Monday, August 28."
Board Chair Eva L. Loredo issued this statement:
"We are proud to be part of this important institution in Houston, which plays a critical role in helping to educate and change the lives of more than 100,000 people each year. Yet, with all of our many successes, we are also impacted when our college is harmed by those entrusted to lead and protect it.
"When one member of our Board of Trustees violates his or her ethical duty, much less the law, we are all impacted. Each of the Trustees has been sworn to uphold high ethical and moral standards.
Given recent events, the Board would like to take a moment to reassure our students, faculty and staff, as well as our partners, supporters, and the community that we remain committed to our primary focus of student success.
"As the matter involving HCC Trustee Christopher Oliver, District IX is resolved in court, the Board will follow Texas law and Board policies to minimize the disruption to Board and college operations. While this situation will touch each of us in different ways, please know that we will never waver from the good for which this college is responsible.
"The role of the Board of Trustees is to protect the institution and to support the work of the Chancellor, who with his team, are making student successes happen each and every day. It is up to each of us at HCC to demonstrate why we are Houston’s Community College with our words, our good deeds and our committed actions.
"Together, we have made and will continue to make a positive and profound mark on our students and their contributions to our community. We owe that to you. And, that is what we must and will do."
Oliver was permitted to remain on bond until sentencing, which is set for Aug. 28.
He faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 fine for his actions.