Houston public works director placed on leave amid bribery case involving HCC trustee

By Aaron Barker - Senior Web Editor
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Karun Sreerama is seen in this picture from Houston's government website. (HoustonTX.gov)

HOUSTON - Houston Public Works and Engineering Director Karun Sreerama was placed on leave Wednesday after being named in court documents as a victim in a bribery case involving a Houston Community College trustee.

Mayor Sylvester Turner said in a written statement that he spoke briefly with Sreerama about his decision to place the director on paid administrative leave while he reviews the matter.

“It is against everyone’s best interest for a public servant to operate under a cloud,” Turner said in the statement.

A “K.S.” was named as a victim in the federal bribery case against HCC trustee Chris Oliver, 53, according to an indictment unsealed last week.

Turner said that was when he became aware of the case.

“I am taking this action so that I may thoroughly review the information to make sure there are no further related implications for the city and him,” Turner said.

A news release from the college said Oliver was convicted on the federal charges after entering a guilty plea March 15. He will remain out of jail on bond until sentencing, which is scheduled for Aug. 28.

This story will be updated with more details soon.

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