Harris County District Attorney demands documents on county's $11 million vaccine contract

Tuesday, November 16, 2021
Harris County DA demands documents on county's $11M vaccine contract
Harris County District Attorney orders subpoenas to learn more about how the vendor for an $11 million vaccine outreach contract was selected.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- 13 Investigates has learned from multiple Harris County sources, the district attorney wants to know more about how the county selected a vendor for an $11 million vaccine outreach contract. Monday night, we learned the district attorney recently issued subpoenas demanding documents from numerous Harris County offices.

Sources confirm commissioners' offices received subpoenas requesting documents from January 2021 until now. The broad request asks not only about the winning firm, but other bidders as well.

The $11 million contract was awarded to Elevate Strategies, a small Houston firm led by a woman with political ties to some court members. It was designed to reach unvaccinated people in Harris County to convince them to get vaccinated. After controversy erupted about how the deal was awarded and to whom, the deal was canceled.

The county still paid thousands of dollars on the deal as the contract wound down.

When asked about the subpoena, a lawyer for Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo told 13 Investigates Monday night, "We have always followed the law and we continue to follow the law."

Those lawyers directed reporters to a question & answer document on the judge's website.

So far, county sources tell us the DA is not demanding the in-person testimony of any Harris County Commissioner, just records.

An email to Elevate Strategies was not returned after hours Monday. The district attorney's office would not comment.

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