Corruption probe continues in Liberty County

December 16, 2009 4:45:33 AM PST
There are new developments in a corruption probe in Liberty County. It's more fallout from a joint investigation by our 13 Undercover unit and our Houston Community Newspaper partner, The Cleveland Advocate. As we found out, the feds were in town on Tuesday. 13 Undercover has learned that federal agents from the U.S. Attorney's Office in Beaumont delivered letters in Liberty County to some of the potential targets of a corruption probe of Hurricane Ike contracts.

Early this year, 13 Undercover surveillance video showed trucks owned by Liberty County Judge Phil Fitzgerald were used in the debris contract. A company run by his brother-in-law we learned was paid nearly $1 million.

"I asked you to leave my property. It's the last time I'm going to say it," said Mark Miksch after we tried to ask him questions.

This was the last time the county judge granted an on camera interview with 13 Undercover.

"I really don't. Basically, no," said Judge Fitzgerald, when we asked him if he crossed an ethical line because his family benefited from this disaster.

We also reported this year on the close ties between Liberty County Commissioner Lee Groce and another contractor who was paid $8 million in hurricane contracts.

No one is confirming who got the letters, but we do know they were delivered on behalf of Homeland Security which oversees FEMA. We also know that some other county officials have been questioned by the FBI and not just about hurricane contracts.

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