John Whitmire was on a roll coming into the 1995 Legislature. But how the mighty have fallen. Tim Fleck examines the mounting troubles of the state senator known as "Boogie."
John Whitmire was riding high back on April 12 when he took to the floor of the Texas Senate for a rare "personal privilege" speech. The legislative battle over auto emissions testing, in which Whitmire had been in the forefront, was at a critical juncture. The veteran senator already had gotten considerable mileage out of his highly publicized efforts to kill or revise the mandatory tailpipe examinations. Watching him strut and pace that day on a small patch of the Senate floor, more than one person was moved to wonder what higher office "Boogie" -- the nickname Whitmire had acquired years before as a partying young lawmaker -- had his sights on.
Attorney general, or, maybe, lieutenant governor? Or perhaps Whitmire desired to follow in the footsteps of his former sister-in-law, Kathy Whitmire, and become mayor of his hometown.
Whatever his intentions, his speech that day was vintage Boogie. Waving his arms and jabbing his index finger, his voice hoarse with emotion, Whitmire let his enemies in the auto emissions fight -- real and imagined -- have it.
What triggered Whitmire's outburst was the efforts of Tejas Testing, the politically connected company that had won the lucrative contract to perform the tests, to salvage the emissions program. Whitmire had succeeded in temporarily delaying implementation of the program, just as Tejas' franchised testing sites were opening for business in the Houston, Dallas and Beaumont areas. But Tejas was now mounting an all-out lobbying effort against a permanent dismantling of the program, and Whitmire was accusing the company of doing so with the $8.8 million "bridge loan" it had received from the state to get it through while the program was in limbo.
Boogie, it seems, was taking it all personally.
Referring to Texas heroes who fought and died for the Republic, Whitmire portrayed himself as the protector of Texans against the intrusions of the federal government, specifically the Environmental Protection Agency, which was once again butting into the state's affairs by trying to make Tejas' emissions testing program a required part of the state's compliance with the Clean Air Act.
"It is unbelievable to me that the federal government, who has tried to run our schools, our prisons, our air, is now trying to get involved in controlling our legislative process," shouted Whitmire, who's never been adept at subject-pronoun agreement.
That was a mildly ironic comment, coming as it did from a politician whose continued election to office heavily depends on his support from African-Americans who might still be denied the right to vote or to an equal education by the state of Texas if the federal government had not intervened. But Whitmire, following the lead of conservative talk-show host Jon Matthews, had latched on to the emissions testing issue with a fervor reminiscent of red-baiting Cold Warriors or anti-abortion zealots. Emotion seemed to be carrying him along as he railed, "The principles that individuals die for is too important for us to stand by and take it."
More ironic still was the accusation by Whitmire, a past master in cultivating special interests and spreading dirt on his opponents, that the EPA was "in bed with Tejas Testing from the get-go" and was now working in tandem with the company to do a "mud smear" on him.
"They have hired investigators on me," Whitmire claimed, suggesting that Tejas operatives were spreading rumors that he and his wife were separated and that he had engaged in weekend trysts in Galveston with someone who wasn't his wife.
"I can't describe in printable language that would address what they're doing," he added. "You know what they're doing with the $8.8 million -- they hired my political consultant this week." And with that, Whitmire ticked off a lengthy roll of lobbyists and politicians who had turned on him and the interests of the state.
"This is crap! That's all I can call it," he declaimed. "You ought to be outraged."
Whitmire was putting all his frenetic trademark behavior on display, from the windmilling arms to the rather shaky grasp of the truth. As it turned out his political consultant, Dan McClung, had not been hired by Tejas, or the EPA, for that matter. One consistent strand running throughout Whitmire's two decades as a legislator is his pronounced inability to tolerate either criticism or effective opposition, and under the pressure of the auto emissions battle, he was reverting to some old, unpleasant habits.
"I think he started out having a good session, and then the emissions thing sort of got out of his control," says a lobbyist who knows Whitmire well. "I think he jumped on it without thinking much about it, and the next thing he knew, he was having to battle the EPA and industry.
"I think it got away from him, and then he resorted back to the old John Whitmire of just lashing out at whoever was standing by."
The "old John Whitmire" -- the hotheaded, self-serving legislative lightweight -- was a persona that Whitmire had been working diligently to shed over the past few years. In the era of Lieutenant Governor Bill Hobby, jokes one lobbyist, Whitmire had been so inconsequential that he "couldn't get a clean seat in the bathroom." But under the patronage of Hobby's successor, Bob Bullock, who had appointed him chairman of the Senate's Criminal Justice Committee (and contributed $15,000 to the senator's campaign fund recently), Whitmire won accolades for leading the overhaul of the state's penal code during the 1993 legislative session. He was even named one of Texas Monthly's "ten best" legislators that year. And by jumping out in front on the emissions testing issue late last year, Whitmire had inflated himself into a populist hero of sorts with the potential of attracting a whole new conservative following out there in talk-radio land.
But as with his former Senate colleague Craig Washington, there seem to be two very different legislators struggling inside of John Whitmire, and as the 1995 legislative session wore on the "old John Whitmire" was vigorously reasserting himself over the newer model. When it was over, he was relegated to Texas Monthly's "ten worst" list and had to suffer the ignominy of being misidentified in the magazine as being from Dallas. In retrospect, Whitmire's personal privilege speech of April 12 may have been a turning point for the senator, because it's been all downhill for him since then. Three months later, nobody's wasting time speculating about Whitmire's designs on higher office, and the senator is hunkered down to wait out a district attorney's investigation and a seemingly unceasing torrent of bad publicity.
And for once, Boogie's not talking.
The senator's uncharacteristic silence is on orders from his lawyer, former prosecutor Rusty Hardin, whom Whitmire retained after learning that the Harris County District Attorney's office was examining the $4,000-a-month contract the senator had negotiated for himself with a local agency whose state funding is overseen by the senator's Criminal Justice Committee.
Whitmire is deferring to Hardin all questions on the senator's arrangement with Larance Coleman, the director of the county's Community Supervision and Corrections Department, otherwise known as the adult probation agency. Hardin explains that given Whitmire's propensity to shoot from the lip, he'd just as soon not have his client chatting with the press about anything.
Since Whitmire wasn't returning calls or answering press inquiries, and his friends, particularly those who'd gotten state contracts with the senator's assistance, didn't seem anxious to chat, either, we set about to find Whitmire and, hopefully, put some queries to him in person. We were especially curious about his arrangement with Pat Williams, a paid member of the senator's Capitol staff who also finds time to run a law practice out of the same house in which Whitmire runs his own law practice and his legislative office.
Our first stop was Glenwood Street just east of Memorial Park, where landscapers, pool cleaners and yardmen were busy sprucing up outside the imposing pink Georgian that Whitmire and his wife Becki Dalby Whitmire (daughter of Garza County District Judge Giles Dalby and heiress to the 16,000-acre Dalby Ranch) and their two teenage daughters call home.
But the senator didn't seem to be home.
Our next stop was on Yale Street in the western portion of the Heights, at an attractive two-story Victorian with a wraparound porch. The house serves, among other functions, as Whitmire's district office. But if Whitmire was in, the office receptionist wasn't saying. The staff, she explained, was in conference and unavailable to chat with a reporter whose calls had been deflected for weeks. And Pat Williams, she said, hadn't reported for work yet, so we left a hand-scribbled note for the lawyer requesting an explanation of his work arrangements with the senator.
We took a look around, anyway, and found the house at 803 Yale to be a tidy symbol for the senator's approach to politics. The assignment of space in the house, like Whitmire's two decades in public office, intricately blends his private and political fortunes to the point where perhaps only he can delineate the intertwined strands.
State money rents the foyer and the upstairs of the building. The back of the house affords space for the 45-year-old Whitmire's campaign office and two legal offices, one for the senator, who never found time to graduate from law school but did pass the bar and open a practice with the aid of a special dispensation for legislators. There's also a room for Williams, the young attorney who occasionally works with the senator on his cases, many of which Whitmire obtains through ad litem appointments by Harris County judges. Over the past few years, Whitmire has been especially welcome in the courts of state District Judges Richard Bianchi and Lamar McCorkle, both Republicans. As CourtWatch researcher Melanie Harrell points out, judges have a vested interest in currying support from state lawmakers, who have a say in sensitive judicial issues like campaign contribution regulations, retirement benefits and pay raises.
Whitmire's arrangement with Williams is equally open to interpretation as to underlying motives. In addition to his private law practice, Williams receives $5,000 a month in taxpayer dollars as a member of the senator's Capitol staff -- that is, the one that's supposed to be working in Austin. Actually, in months when the Senate is in session, Williams receives $2,500 from Whitmire's Criminal Justice Committee for consultations and $2,500 as an Austin staffer. With the Legislature out of session, Williams' Capitol staff salary went up to $5,000 a month in June.
Williams later caught up with us by phone. "I would not have called you back if this message was not so alarming," he said before going on to deny that he and Whitmire are law partners.
"We don't represent ourselves [as] partners," he said. "In fact, we take great pains to keep our practices completely separate."
Well, that's not entirely true, as Williams acknowledged when it was pointed out that he and Whitmire are listed as the attorneys defending Whitmire's good buddy Jim "Mattress Mac" McIngvale in a lawsuit filed against Gallery Furniture by a former employee who claims he was fired for testifying on behalf of his wife in a sexual harassment suit against the furniture store.
Williams claims it was such an exciting lawsuit he couldn't resist assisting the senator.
"That's a case that's a hot area of law," Williams averred, "really, the cutting edge of the law. This area of practice is going to become the wave of the future in labor law, and I knew he was handling a case like that with Mac, and I asked if I could collaborate with him."
Williams says he works 32 hours a week on state time, and meanwhile manages about 10 to 20 legal cases.
Of course, Williams lives in Houston, so to get around a Senate requirement that paid committee staff members and consultants reside in Austin, he simply used Whitmire's address at 2107 Rio Grande in Austin, a well-worn residence owned by Whitmire's old legislative running mate and longtime political ally, Congressman Gene Green. As Whitmire explained to reporters earlier in a different context, the use of the apartment by third parties was all just a little fib to get around the Senate's antiquated, bothersome rules.
"Up until June 5, our understanding of the rules, and I'm speaking for Senator Whitmire and I here," said Williams, "was that, if you are listed as a committee staff member, then you have to have an Austin address. So for that reason I listed an Austin address. I didn't live there, never did live there." So much for regulations.
Williams, who has clearly taken his cues from Whitmire on his attitude toward Senate rules, says the senator will comply with whatever's required, but it won't really change anything.
"Now the Senate administration committee has clarified that and said, if you're going to be a committee staff member or assigned to Austin you've got to reside in Austin," he explained. "As soon as we got that word, and I guess it was pursuant to the Galvan mess, we just said fine, we'll shuffle the paperwork, and leave everybody where they are, and just file different paperwork."
The "Galvan mess" to which Williams referred arose when it was discovered in late May that another of Whitmire's close friends, Israel Galvan, had been paid $58,000 on a monthly contract to consult with Whitmire's Criminal Justice Committee on prison health issues. But Galvan, who runs a Clear Lake-area computer company and was an early NASA minority contractor, had produced no verifiable work product, and prison system officials said that they had had almost no contact with him.
According to several sources, however, computer-wiz Galvan earlier had assisted with the redistricting strategy that allowed Whitmire to keep from losing his seat to Roman Martinez in what was ostensibly designed to be a "Hispanic" senatorial district. Galvan also contributed $1,000 to Whitmire's campaign in the latest reporting period.
It turns out that Galvan, too, had listed his address at 2107 Rio Grande to meet the Austin residency requirement and be eligible for his Senate paycheck. If everyone who claimed Green's apartment as home actually had crashed there on a given evening, it would have been quite a slumber party.
Whitmire's juices must have been flowing when he ventured onto Jon Matthew's KPRC call-in show early this year to discuss the emissions testing program.oooooo Ostensibly a moderate Democrat, Whitmire found himself on the same wave length with Matthews and his conservative audience in opposing the testing program, which was the product of years of negotiation with the EPA and had the support of Texas business groups such as the Greater Houston Partnership.
In a performance similar to his fusillade on the Senate floor, Whitmire cut loose with the on-air accusation that highly regarded Galveston state Representative Patty Gray had been "'bought and paid for" by Tejas Testing. Gray, a 48-year-old lawyer with a reputation as a straight shooter, had incurred Whitmire's wrath because she had the temerity to favor a state loan to help Tejas get over the loss of its contract with the state, while Whitmire advocated torpedoing it and damn the consequences. Tejas eventually filed a $150 million lawsuit against the state for breach of contract, which has yet to be resolved.
"My understanding is, he didn't just make that statement to people at the Capitol, he made that statement to Jon Matthews," says Gray. "I really, really resented it and I still resent it."
Despite a later private apology by Whitmire, Gray is still smarting.
"No one was telling me how to think, what to do and what to say. And I think that is part of the problem John has in the Legislature. He's never learned how to disagree with someone without turning it into a personal attack."
Whitmire's penchant for accusing other legislators of wrongdoing might be his own curious way of dealing with the persistent charges of conflict of interest that pop up and fade on his public record as regularly as splotches of acne on an adolescent's face.
Last year the fuss centered on his $5,000-a-month contract for Washington, D.C. lobbying on behalf of the Houston Firemen's Relief and Retirement Fund that began after he voted on Austin legislation that helped the pension board. The director of the fund, Jennifer Morales, says the pension board hired Whitmire because he was well acquainted with the Harris County congressional delegation. When the contract came under media scrutiny, the board let it expire.
Then there was the curious amendment that Whitmire offered during the last session on a bill to permit off-track betting at the state's racetracks, an amendment that was widely viewed as an effort by Whitmire to help legal client Jim "Mattress Mac" McIngvale extract a measure of revenge against the Maxxam-operated Sam Houston Race Park. The I-45 furniture magnate had put up some of the initial money for the local track and was obligated to put up more when Sam Houston faltered and an additional "cash call" was made on investors. McIngvale has since sued his former lawyer, Gerald Holtzman, claiming he'd been suckered into investing in the lagging track with the spurious claim that it would help him get a license for casino gambling when that form of gambling was legalized in Texas.
Whitmire's amendment would have required that Harris County conduct an election before off-track betting would be allowed locally, thus raising another hurdle for Maxxam in its efforts to find a new source of revenue for its northwest Houston track. It eventually became known as the "McIngvale amendment," but the OTB bill itself was not passed this year.
McIngvale, who did not return phone calls for this story, is known to be exceptionally tight with Whitmire. The senator was conspicuous among McIngvale's contingent that was courtside for the Rockets' playoffs, and he also sat in with the Gallery Furniture owner when he "screened" Democratic senatorial contender Richard Fisher for a contribution last year.
Patty Gray, who sponsored the off-track betting legislation in the House, was nonplused by Whitmire's amendment.
"I didn't think that just because Whitmire was unhappy with some racetrack owner that the entire Harris County area should have another election with all the attendant costs, when Harris County had already approved pari-mutuel wagering," she says. "We aren't about resolving people's peeves in the Legislature."
Another Whitmire relationship that has raised eyebrows over the years is the senator's work for developers Andrew Schatte and Richard Bischoff -- which just a few weeks ago resulted in the airing of the strangest accusation yet made against Whitmire.
A Fort Bend County investigator testifying at an inquest into the shooting death of Houston police Lieutenant Alan Mabry quoted a friend and colleague of Mabry's as claiming that Whitmire and associates in Bischoff and Schatte's BSL Corporation "had Mabry killed." That completely unsubstantiated allegation actually made it into the Chronicle, deep inside the paper's story on the Mabry inquest.
Whitmire has represented Schatte and Bischoff, whose BSL Corporation partnered with the Houston Police Officers Pension System in a golf course development that Mabry, right up to his mysterious death, believed was somehow crooked. Whitmire also has a substantial amount of stock in an enterprise created by Bischoff and Schatte called Team Inc., and several years ago was accused of taking legal payments from BSL and, in return, helping the company get investments from municipal employee pension funds (which Whitmire has denied).
But there's absolutely no indication Whitmire had anything to do with Mabry's death. For once, the over-the-top weirdness had even the district attorney's office laughing. "I don't think we're ready to ask him to try on the gloves yet," joked one investigator who's probing Whitmire's dealings.
The district attorney's investigation into Whitmire's contract with Larance Coleman's county agency began after it came to light as part of a series of reports by Channel 13's Wayne Dolcefino that were highly critical of the adult probation department's operations.
Dolcefino says he accidentally stumbled upon the contract's existence while investigating the probation department, but others with an interest in Whitmire's predicament suggest the reporter was pointed to it by enemies of Whitmire or Coleman. The judges who sit on the local board that oversees the agency all claim not to remember approving the contract, and prosecutors say minutes of the board's meetings do not mention the pact. Still, it may prove to be another case of Whitmire's bending of the rules while breaking no laws.
What really angers some of Whitmire's colleagues is that while Whitmire was playing up Coleman's accomplishments at criminal justice hearings in Austin, he also was covertly on the probation department's payroll.
As one of his legislative colleagues points out, Whitmire was in a position to write policy directly affecting how Coleman's agency would have access to state funding.
"If he picked up the phone and called over to the head of probation and said, 'I want you to quit doing this,' they'll probably quit doing this. You certainly don't have a monied relationship with anybody that you have direct oversight over their budget."
The district attorney's office also is looking into Whitmire's relationship with Demetra Pope, an administrator for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice who supervises budgeting for probation agencies across the state and may have played a role in suppressing a critical audit of Coleman's operation. Pope was unavailable for comment, and an internal investigation is also under way into the handling of the audit.
Assistant district attorney Chuck Noll says the probation agency may not qualify as a state or county entity, but rather a special district. In that case, there would be no clear-cut prohibition against Whitmire taking a paycheck from it. And even if the contract did not come before the judges' board as a separate item, it may have been approved as part of a larger agenda, he notes.
So the deal may stink, and yet not violate the law.
It's the kind of arrangement Whitmire has specialized in over the years.
The irony of Whitmire's current counsel-imposed silence is that if he had reined in his mouth during the recently concluded legislative session, he might not be in the district attorney's cross hairs right now. Before he was gagged, Whitmire claimed his successful fight to stall auto emissions testing and revoke the state's contract with Tejas Testing provoked a constellation of enemies to go all out to get him.
That drew a snort of derision from one influential state legislator, who, like most other Whitmire critics in this story, requested that he not be quoted by name.
"To suggest that someone's out to get him because of some courageous stand he's taken, well, he gives himself too much credit. I mean, he's taking the $4,000 [from the probation department]. He's got a guy on his staff that doesn't ever show up for meetings, and doesn't show up in his office, and he's giving him $5,000 a month [an apparent reference to Israel Galvan].
"Those things are wrong," the lawmaker adds. "I don't know if they're legally wrong, but it does not send a good perception to the public and members of the Legislature that he does things like that."
One lobbyist who worked the session says there are indeed folks who are determined to nail Whitmire, but rather than Tejas operatives they actually are power players in the Legislature who've had their fill of Whitmire's antics.
"I do know that there are four House chairmen who are out to get him," says the lobbyist. "They are Mark Stiles, Rob Junell, Allen Place and Allen Hightower. By the end of the session it was pretty clear, at least with those four, that John Whitmire was just an asshole and they were going to get him."
There's been bad blood between Whitmire and Junell, the San Angelo representative who chairs the House Appropriations Committee, dating back at least to a Texas Criminal Justice Board meeting held on a Saturday morning in late 1993. Whitmire showed up at the meeting and lambasted board members for consulting with Junell about locations of the new generation of state prisons then coming on-line.
"Rob Junell does not speak for the Legislature," lectured Whitmire to the stunned board members. "At the last meeting two weeks ago it was all I could do to sit there and hear you say that Chairman Junell wants us to do it this way .... I am damned tired and we're going to stop it, one way or another, of having a House member, whoever he or she may be, but particularly most recently Mr. Junell, from coming in and pulling you all out individually and going to the hall and telling you what he wants done because it is wrong .... He's given you misinformation, old information, he's not giving you legislative intent because he was not even around when the bill was being written."
Whitmire then replayed a familiar riff that he's used repeatedly in campaign speeches and literature, describing the robbery at gunpoint of his family in the driveway of his Houston home.
"You need to look down the barrel of a gun," Whitmire told the board members, "and have to beg a guy not to shoot your wife and daughter, get ready to accept the bullet in the five or ten seconds that the mind reacts to having a gun in your face. I was already prepared to get shot and in my mind I was wondering what would happen to the wife and daughter."
Others say that all Whitmire did was shoot himself in the foot with his attack on Junell, who was lauded by Lieutenant Governor Bullock in Texas Monthly as "like having a 32nd member of the Senate."
From his San Angelo law office, Junell denied he's out to get Whitmire for the attack at the board meeting.
"I haven't instigated, and I'm not aware of any investigation of John Whitmire," says Junell. "If he's suggesting I had anything to do with that, he's dead wrong. What I know about what's happening to John Whitmire is literally what I read in the newspaper. If John Whitmire has anything to say to me he ought to call me on the phone or wander out to San Angelo for a visit."
But one lobbyist offers this theory: "I think what happened was Junell is moving along, and someone whispers to him about Israel Galvan being on the payroll, and not living in Austin, which violates that law, and the prison people ask Hightower, have you ever heard of an Israel Galvan, who's supposed to be doing a study on health care and computers for prisons? And they all go, 'Hell no, never heard of him.' They [leak it to reporters and] drop John in the grease on that. And the next one they dropped on him is being on the payroll of probation. I just assume they have a few more waiting in the wings."
Theories about the cause of John Whitmire's troubles vary, but the most widely accepted theory about their point of origin is, of course, John Whitmire.
"I didn't really believe it when I first heard it because I didn't think Whitmire was that stupid," one legislator says of the senator's contract with the probation department.
"I know a lot of legislators up here who aren't that bright but compensate for it and stay out of trouble," adds a Capitol lobbyist. "The danger with John is that he actually thinks he's smart."
Overcome by hubris after making his big splash in 1993, Whitmire may have forgotten an essential element of Capitol etiquette: Those who live in glass houses throw stones at their own peril. As Whitmire told the Austin American-Statesman last summer, "The bottom line is if the public wants a bunch of $600-a-month legislators who have to make a living someplace else, you're going to have potential conflicts of interest -- some large, some small."
In the Texas Legislature, sometimes you have to really piss someone off to bring the big ones to public light.
Whitmire himself is certainly not adverse to poisoning colleagues' wells. One day last summer, the senator, tieless in a work shirt, seemed to have something serious on his mind as he forked a pile of mashed potatoes on his blue-plate special at a cafe a few blocks from his office, and then stuck a verbal fork into a few colleagues' backs.
You reporters, he told a couple of journalists he had bumped into at the eatery and taken on as lunchmates, should be looking into lawmakers who use their position to rake in money from special interests in the private sector. Whitmire singled out Representative Mark Stiles of Beaumont, whose concrete company had contracts with prison builders who had come before his legislative committee, as a particularly egregious example. Whitmire even suggested that someone ought to check out how Lieutenant Governor Bob Bullock, Whitmire's chief patron in the Legislature, supplemented his income from the state of Texas.
But what did people expect, Whitmire said, when Texans were unwilling to pay their legislators a decent wage?
Of course, Whitmire did not mention his own contract as a consultant with the Harris County Community Supervisions and Corrections Department, which would seem to be an especially egregious example of conflicted interests. As he finished cleaning his plate at the diner, the senator had already consumed some $36,000 in probation department funds for "consultations," supposedly on employee matters. By the time the contract had been "suspended" last month, Whitmire had been paid more than $80,000.
Shortly after the probation contract came to light and before his lawyer advised him to keep mum, Whitmire told the Press in a phone interview, "I am a minor player when in comes to conflicts of interest."
Until now, the longest story ever written about Senator John Whitmire in his decades in office, was, typically, published by Senator John Whitmire. It's the biography of the senator that appeared in a brochure commemorating the celebration late last year for his "Governor for a Day" honor, which is traditionally accorded the Senate's incoming president pro tempore. Perhaps fittingly, one of the previous honorees was Craig Washington, with whom Whitmire shares so many soar, crash and burn similarities.
Reading that program now, it almost seems to provide an eerie premonition of Whitmire's troubles to come. The master of ceremonies is Jim "Mattress Mac" McIngvale, who would later have that Whitmire amendment named after him. Introducing the speakers is Whitmire's old buddy and landlord to the masses, Congressman Gene Green. Then there're laudatory speeches by Israel Galvan, listed as a "businessman" from Houston, and Whitmire staffer Beulah Shepherd, listed as a "community leader," followed by a "Boot Camp Graduation Ceremony" conducted by none other than Larance Coleman, director of the Harris County Community Supervision and Corrections Department.
So play district attorney for a moment and try to sort out the relationships that weren't spelled out in the "Governor for a Day" program: Galvan and Shepherd work for Whitmire. The senator helps set the state funding level for Coleman's agency, but also works for him as well. Whitmire is Mattress Mac's attorney, and helps him out legislatively. Whitmire lives in Green's apartment, the one Galvan listed as his address so he could receive $58,000 in taxpayers' funds and the one Pat Williams also used so he could collect his $5,000 a month from the state while assisting Whitmire in at least one lawsuit -- the one defending Mattress Mac.
For a guy to pull off a dance step like that -- hey, it's no wonder they call him "Boogie.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Houston Press' biggest stories.