Harris Co. to launch probe into Port of Houston

May 13, 2011 5:44:28 PM PDT
There's major fallout from our 13 Undercover investigation into spending at the Port of Houston. There's word of a major investigation underway. Tonight the Harris County attorney's office is creating an investigative task force to make sure the port isn't cheating Harris County taxpayers. For weeks, we've been investigating how taxpayer money is being spent by some members of the Port's top brass. We've exposed possible ethics violations, conflicts of interest and questionable spending.

Last night on Eyewitness News, we told you that questions raised by our stories now have the fate of both Port Chairman Jim Edmonds and President Alec Dreyer in question.

According to Terry O'Rourke with the county attorney's office, Republican county commissioners Jack Morman and Steve Radack have pushed for the investigation after watching our stories. Commissioner Radack has been raising questions about the Port's legal bills for months. There's apparently outrage by some county leaders who have had to lay off workers when they learned the Port has a $200 million surplus in cash and short term investments.

Last year the county had to pay less of its debt, because taxpayers were required to pay for the Port's increasing debt. Since 2006, taxpayer payments have nearly doubled to $53 million.

13 Undercover's Wayne Dolcefino will have much more on this breaking story on Eyewitness News and here on abc13.com. And in the related links section of this page, you can read through our 13 Undercover investigations into the Port O Plenty and see many of the documents that formed the basis of the investigation.