HOUSTON – The Harris County Attorney’s Office told KPRC 2 Thursday that the Harris County District Attorney’s Office has been made aware of their findings related to a massive collection of African artwork found in a county-owned maintenance shed that is funded by taxpayers.
County Attorney Melissa Spinks told KPRC 2 they have had at least two in-person meetings with the DA’s office regarding the potential criminality of the finding.
Spinks is helping spearhead the investigation. She said her office is not seeing much transparency from the people involved with the art.
“We are getting some help, but we are not getting all the answers we need,” she said.
The shed is located in Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis’ precinct and though KPRC 2 has made multiple attempts to speak with Ellis, he has not made himself available for comment.
In January 2018, businessman Sam Njunuri signed an agreement with Harris County to display 14 pieces of African art in county buildings in Harris County Precinct 1 under Ellis. However, Njunuri’s company, African Art Global, was non-existent when KPRC 2 first started asking questions this year and Njunuri has since filed new paperwork to bring his company up-to-date with the state.
Spinks says her team has already identified hundreds of thousands in taxpayers’ dollars spent to modify the shed to store the art.
“Currently we anticipate that the invoices total over $250,000,” she said.