3 Hidalgo staffers indicted in $11M COVID-19 outreach contract investigation appear in court
Three senior staffers for Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo made their first court appearance on Tuesday. The trio was indicted in an investigation surrounding an $11,000,000 COVID-19 outreach contract that was previously awarded to Elevate Strategies.
Harris County Commissioners Court Votes To Terminate $11 Million Contract For Vaccine Outreach
Harris County, Texas – In a unanimous September 14 vote, the Harris County Commissioners Court agreed to terminate an $11 million contract meant to set up a community outreach campaign to encourage vaccination against COVID-19. Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo began pushing for an independent contractor to run an outreach campaign in March 2021, prompting the county to publish a request for proposals. On the same day of the vote to terminate, Harris County Purchasing Agent DeWight Dopslauf affirmed that the Elevate Strategies contract was handled the same way as all contracts that commissioners approve or reject. As a basis for her actions, she claims that the matter had become so politicized that it was beginning to undermine Harris County residents’ trust in the county’s efforts and was becoming counterproductive. The county has paid over $500,000 to Elevate Strategies since the contract began in early July.springhappenings.com