When William-Paul Thomas, a former city employee in the Mayor’s Office, took money in exchange for breaking the rules, he necessarily involved at least two other City of Houston departments.
The Houston Fire Department’s Fire Marshal’s Office is responsible for carrying out the certificate of occupancy inspections.
The city of Houston permitting, part of Houston Public Works, is responsible for providing permits to business enterprises, a requirement to operate legally within the city.
Both departments played a role in Thomas’s scheme, the question is whether employees and/or administrators in those departments had knowledge of the scheme.
“One or more city departments seem to be part and parcel of this investigation. I don’t want to say they were part of the conspiracy, but somehow, someway, the fix was in,” Brian Wice, KPRC2′s Legal Analyst, said Thursday.
Requests to the Mayor’s office regarding this specific topic were returned with a statement penned by city attorney, Arturo Michel:
“The City’s Office of Internal Investigation (OIG) reviews allegations of employee misconduct that come from both formal complaints and misconduct information of which it becomes aware. The City received the federal criminal information which implicates employee misconduct, and as a result, will investigate through the OIG.”
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