She's About a Mover
PR agent-turned-Port Commissioner Betti Maldonado was a woman on the go the week that news of the FBI's City Hall sting broke. According to her testimony during pretrial hearings last week for the upcoming trial of the Hotel Six, a distraught Maldonado sought counseling from several big-name Houstonians while considering whether to continue cooperating with the FBI:
Monday, May 6, 1996: Maldonado meets FBI agents in a room they had reserved at the Guest Quarters on Westheimer. During a break, Maldonado goes to a pay phone at a nearby office building and calls Ned Holmes, her colleague on the Port Commission. Maldonado later visits Holmes's office at 55 Waugh Drive, where Holmes phones defense lawyer Dick DeGuerin for her.
Tuesday, May 7, 1996: After spending Monday night in a room at the Guest Quarters, Maldonado heads for the office of Wayne Duddlesten, where she ignores frequent pages from the FBI while meeting with the developer. Later, she meets attorney Ron Woods at an unspecified location downtown. She spends the night at her home on Munger Street.
Wednesday, May 8, 1996: Up bright and early, Maldonado drops in unannounced at the Huntingdon penthouse of Mayor Bob and Elyse Lanier, where she tells the breakfast-eating first couple of her predicament. Later, she meets with Jarl Molander of the city's Wastewater Program at an undisclosed location, then gets together with the FBI at the La Peep Restaurant on Westheimer. From there, she heads to a downtown parade, where, in an effort to ditch the FBI, she meets up with a friend who drives her to within a block of DeGuerin's office. Maldonado walks the rest of the way to the lawyer's office; later, she takes a Metro bus back to her car.
Thursday, May 9, 1996: Maldonado has a final meeting with the feds at the Phoenician apartment complex on Bering Drive in southwest Houston, where she refuses to sign a statement that she had voluntarily tape-recorded councilmembers for the FBI. The agents, knowing that Maldonado has been talking to lawyers, are finished with her. That afternoon, she and DeGuerin hold a news conference at the lawyer's office to accuse the FBI of trying to entrap Maldonado and other minority political figures.
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