Pappa’s Family Files Lawsuit Alleging Inappropriate Contact By Mayor’s Office During Bidding Process
The food fight at Houston’s Hobby Airport is headed to the courtroom, as the Pappa’s family files a lawsuit in Harris County a month after Houston city council awarded the airport concessions contract to a Miami-based company. The lawsuit claims the city violated state law and city code when they made inappropriate contact during the designated “no contact period” of the bidding process.
The claims involve William-Paul Thomas, a long-time advisor to Mayor Sylvester Turner, who was convicted last summer in federal court of conspiracy tied to cash bribes. According to the lawsuit, Thomas allegedly left a voicemail to Chris Pappas saying, “Oh, Mr. Pappas, this is William-Paul Thomas, Mayor Sylvester Turner’s office. I wanted to visit with you regarding the upcoming airport concession at Hobby Airport. I had a great meeting with a couple of folks and I’m going to share with you some of the thoughts that we had going forward. Please give me a call at your convenience.”
Michael Wynne, a former federal prosecutor based in Houston, told KPRC 2 Investigates that if Thomas did not mention this call to the feds, he could be facing additional charges, including the potential of perjury.
“Anyone cooperating with the federal government who is being interviewed, including by the FBI in particular, has an obligation to disclose any and all information they may have about any suspicious or criminal conduct,” said Wynne. “There is no exception.”
Both sides are expected back in court on Thursday morning for a hearing focused on a Temporary Restraining Order on the new contract.
See the entire story on KPRC 2 News and Michael’s interview HERE