HOUSTON – Los Angeles has a soundtrack all its own, and Sharon Adams has been part of it for more than two years.
The Houston Film Commission pays Adams more than $174,000 a year in public funds to work in Los Angeles.
Adams' job is to lure Hollywood productions to Houston. However, Channel 2 Investigates found no big-budget projects secured by Adams since she arrived in L.A. in 2015.
State Sen. Paul Bettencourt is not happy with how Houston First is spending public money: "You've got to be kidding me. This is preposterous. Why are we paying for Sharon Adams in L.A.?"
The Film Commission is run by the Houston First Corp., which is funded by the city's hotel tax.
Bettencourt says this is an example of the city reaching for the stars. "So many people go to Hollywood to chase a dream; this is the city doing the same thing," he said.
Adams has a Houston First Amex.
Channel 2 Investigates found her racking up thousands of dollars a year in meals, lodging and cross-country flights.
"We have a ticket right here, United Airlines, Sharon Adams L.A. to Newark, New Jersey, $2,626? That's an expensive trip," said Bettencourt.
Council Member Dave Martin represents the city on the board of Houston First. He wants to know why Adams charged $1,826 at Tony's Restaurant over Super Bowl weekend 2017. "Who did she take? And we get any business out of it? Two easy questions."
Questions Houston First won't answer.
Adams also is hitting up fancy spots in Beverly Hills like Fred's inside of Barney's. "If you have somebody else's expense account, it's really easy to spend the money,” says Bettencourt.
Houston First has not revealed the purpose of those meals and who, other than Adams is eating on the public's dime.
There are multiple flights from L.A. to Houston for over $1,000 per flight plus a seat upgrade and lounge passes paid for by Adams in the names of other passengers.
When in Los Angeles, Adams makes it known she's available for red carpet events. Channel 2 Investigates discovered emails that shows Adams scoring two tickets to a film premiere where instead of inviting a producer or studio executive, she brought her daughter.
As for Adams' California office?
It is nowhere near a production lot or L.A. high-rise. The Film Commission's L.A. address is a residential building near Beverly Hills. We have been asking for nearly three weeks if Houston First is paying her rent.
They refuse to answer.
However, we found a Houston First email that states, “I just wanted to inform you that I have submitted the invoice for your housing to accounting.”
Channel 2 Investigates will have more on the investigation on Channel 2 News at 10 p.m. on Thursday.