Why did Houston's Mayor Hire a Known Criminal?

Over the past few years Houston's Mayor Sylvester Turner (D) has built a name for himself as being one of America's most corrupt and scandal-prone political leaders in a local government position.

Yesterday he lived up to that reputation.

Meet Cynthia Bailey: a convicted felon currently running for Houston City Council District B.

Cynthia came in second in the November 5th general election so she's now heading to a highly contentious runoff election. This move is being challenged by the third place candidate from that race, Renee Jefferson-Smith, who missed the runoff by 168 votes.

Renee sued to have Cynthia taken off the ballot, arguing that her 2007 conviction for theft of more than $200,000 makes her ineligible to run for public office in Houston city government.

Enter Mayor Turner - yesterday Fox26's Greg Groogan broke a story revealing the mayor paid Cynthia $17,500 to work for his campaign. The Mayor joined Council in certifying the election, advancing Bailey into a run-off, despite her felony conviction.

Turner's campaign claims they hired Bailey to put up yard signs. Some might say $17,500 is an awfully large amount of money to pay someone to put up yard signs - but this is the same mayoral candidate who hired a $95,000 intern with no aviation experience to work at the airport.

All of these new revelations beg the question: if Cynthia was a known criminal (her opponent, Renee Jefferson-Smith, was well aware of her criminal history when the runoff candidates were announced) did Mayor Turner know he was hiring a convicted felon? And, if so, why would he have thrown his support at her political career? Also, why was she paid such a large sum of money to simply put up yard signs? 

Now it's been announced that the runoff for the District B race will be taken off the Dec. 14 ballot. This means there will be a special election with a date not yet announced.

This news broke on the heels of another recent report revealing the mayor is being investigated by the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security over campaign contributions he received from disaster contractors, suggesting his campaign profited off the misfortune and death of Houston's citizens.

The Pursuit of Happiness

The Pursuit of Happiness

Ken Webster Jr is a talk radio personality and producer from Houston, TX. He started his career in Chicago on the Mancow show and has since worked at dozens of radio stations all over the country. He’s currently the host of Pursuit of Happiness... Read more

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