Turner administration 'most corrupt...I've ever seen': Bill King

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Houston mayoral candidate Bill King unveiled a series of proposed ethics reforms Monday morning.

It comes two days after he was the first to sign a petition aiming to put similar reforms on the November ballot.

King, who freely admits he has both received government contracts as a businessman and contributed to campaigns in the past, says it is past time to change the way business is done at Houston City Hall.

"We need some kind of ethical reforms," King told reporters at a Monday morning news conference. "I've been around this city hall for 40 years. I am not naive about the way cities work. I've had government contracts. I made plenty of contributions over my life. But this is the most corrupt administration I've ever seen in my lifetime. I've never seen the pay-to-play as out of control as it is right now."

King suggests limiting how much city contractors and vendors can give to candidates to $500 per year, and banning contributions from anyone on a city board or commission, and prohibiting any donation from owners of sexually-oriented businesses.

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King would have all contributions entered into a searchable database.

If elected mayor, King would reform Houston's Office of Inspector General, an in-house watchdog who investigates violations of city rules or law by employees or vendors.

As it is now, the OIG reports to the city attorney, which allows the city to keep all of its work secret. King would instead create a board of the mayor, city controller and council-elected representatives to oversee the OIG.

His plan also includes awarding of contracts to the lowest responsible bidder instead of a more subjective "best value" award as is currently used.

Lastly, King pledges to release more documents under the Public Information Act by limiting the way the city can use discretionary exemptions under the law.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner's campaign had no comment.

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