Harris County, Texas
Last rated on Jan. 12, 2012
- The current budget is published.
- County commissioner meeting schedule and agendas are published.
- The names and contact information for all county commissioners are published.
- Information on administrative officials is available.
- Information on building permits and zoning is available.
- Audit reports are published.
- Information on contracts is provided.
- There is a procedure for requesting public records.
- Tax information is provided.
- Meeting minutes are not posted.
- Information about lobbying is not provided.
Board of Commissioners
|Ed Emmett||County Judge|
|El Franco Lee||Precinct 1|
|Jack Morman||Precinct 2|
|Steve Radack||Precinct 3|
|Jerry Eversole||Precinct 4|
Jerry Eversole was rumored to have accepted bribes from developer Mike Surface in 2008. In 2010 he was indicted on those charges for allegedly accepting $100,000 worth of bribes.
Precinct 1 Constable Jack Abercia failed in his 2009 disclosure form to state his office and his source of occupational income. He is paid $130,512 a year, records show. Texas Watchdog called his office, and he was quick to return our call and took note of the inquiry. He said he would fix the missing information on the disclosure form.
- Main article: Texas government sector lobbying
Harris County belonged to the Texas Association of Counties, a government sector lobbying association. However, because of a 2005 lawsuit which concluded that the lobbying activities of a taxpayer-funded organization like TAC were illegal, Harris County revoked its membership in the organization.
In August 2010, a 3 alarm fire destroyed all the voting machines in Harris County, the cause of the fire is unknown.
Shortly after, the Texas Democratic Party filed a lawsuit against the Harris County voter registrar in federal district court for what it says are violations of voter registration laws, political favoritism and violations of voter privacy. The lawsuit follows registrar Leo Vasquez, who has accused two Democratic-leaning activist groups of voter fraud involving more than 5,000 applications.
In response, Texans Together Education Fund, parent company of Houston Votes has also filed a suit agains the King Street Patriots, a local tea party group. The suit accuses them of intimidating voters, while King Street Patriots maintains that their volunteers are only poll watchers.
The county has seen a large spike in unemployment due to the recession, losing 49,800 jobs in the first quarter of 2010.
Harris County answered a Freedom of Information Act request from Sunshine Review and copied a list of payroll related records for the county.
Public employee salaries
- Main article: Harris County employee salaries
- Harris County website
- Harris County Appraisal District
- Harris County Clerk
- Harris County District Courts
- Harris County Homeland Security and Emergency Management
- Harris County Public Library
- Public Records Directory - Harris County
- Harris County on E-Reference
- Tax Rates (dead link)
- Texas Watchdog, After years of predictions and rumors, Harris County Commissioner Jerry Eversole indicted on bribery charge, Dec. 22, 2010
- Texas Watchdog, Harris County Constable Jack Abercia to correct ethics form with income sources; get links to other officials' ethics forms here at Texas Watchdog, Jan. 6, 2011
- 2011 Lobbying - Open Secrets
- AFP Foundation, "Harris County Takes Unprecedented Step by Pulling Out of Texas Association of Counties"
- Texas Watchdog, Three-alarm fire destroys nearly all of Harris County's voting machines two months prior to Election Day, Aug. 30, 2010
- Texas Watchdog, Democrats sue Harris County Voter Registrar Leo Vasquez for alleged violations of voter registration laws, Sept. 2, 2010
- Texas Watchdog, Harris County Voter Registrar Leo Vasquez refutes allegations in Democrats' lawsuit, says voter registrations processed completely, Sept. 2, 2010
- Texas Watchdog, Harris County focus of national attention in voter fraud debate, Nov. 2, 2010
- True the Vote, KING STREET PATRIOTS RESPONDS TO LEGAL COMPLAINTS FROM SOROS-FUNDED GROUPS AND TEXAS DEMOCRATIC PARTY, Oct. 25, 2010
- Watchdog, Nine-out-of-ten largest counties lost jobs in first quarter, Oct. 19, 2010
- Harris County - list of payroll documents