One thing you can say about the Port of Houston -- they don't like questions. Any reporter in town who's tried to deal with them on anything but a fawning story quickly finds that getting straight and full answers can often be a struggle.
The Port currently finds itself in a spot of bother over allegations that its CEO has a conflict of interest and misused Port property for personal use; as a result, some investigations are underway.
Hardin told the board he will coordinate things so that the county attorney and the district attorney get all the information they think they need.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to the mission of the Houston Press. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Houston’s stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
"[The] charge I've been given is to make sure that everything is totally open and that everything is transparent and that everything is done in public so that the public can be more comfortable with what the response is and should be to these different allegations," the Chron reports Hardin as telling the board.
You need to hire the city's most prominent criminal lawyer to make sure you hand over all the info law-enforcement agencies need? Okay, we guess.
The county attorney's office has announced it is looking into what seems to be fairly straightforward allegations: "the port's compliance with state laws on conflicts of interest, open meetings, open records, procurement procedures and financial reporting."
If hiring Hardin is indeed a step towards openness, as opposed to a defensive measure, it's a welcome move.