League City terminates a director over gifts
League City officials said Thursday that the city's director of general services, Travis Doughty, has been terminated for violating city policy on unreported gifts.
"He took gifts," said City Manager Marcus Jahns.
"He engaged in behavior which is inappropriate for a municipal official."
Jahns declined to comment further on the specifics, but Doughty said the termination letter he received from the city Thursday morning stated that he had accepted gifts or favors with a value of over $10 from his girlfriend, Janell Marin, who helped found AmeriWaste, the city's garbage contractor.
He said city policy includes a clause that a city employee can't accept any gift or favor with a value of over $10 without reporting it to the city secretary.
I don't feel like I violated any policy," Doughty said. That's their prerogative."
Asked if he accepted any gifts from Marin, Doughty said, My personal life is my personal life. Anything I received had nothing to do with my job or my function at work."
Doughty, 62, said the allegations that he took gifts arose from a deposition that he gave May 20 in his girlfriend's divorce proceedings.
In 2007, AmeriWaste was controversially awarded the city's garbage contract over then-contractor IESI, where Marin previously worked as director of its Alvin office.
Termed Garbagegate," the Galveston County District Attorney's Office investigated whether City Council members violated the Texas Open Meetings Act as part of the deal at the request of City Councilmen Mike Barber and Tim Paulissen, but it was no-billed by a grand jury.
In 2008, a jury found Marin liable for fraud and forgery against IESI, and earlier this year a Texas appeals court upheld that decision.
At the time that the city's garbage contract was awarded to AmeriWaste, however, Doughty said he was not romantically involved with Marin, who still works for AmeriWaste.
As League City's director of general services, he oversaw most bidding for city contracts, but he said he had "absolutely no input on who gets that contract."
I was just an employee who had absolutely no influence whatsoever on who got that contract," he said.
Doughty said he started dating Marin at least a year after the city's garbage contract was awarded to AmeriWaste. He said believes that information from his deposition was given to the city.
"I told the truth," Doughty said. "An interpretation of the truth led to trouble. But again, I got gifts on a personal level that had no influence on the function of my job."
Doughty alleges that hundreds" of city employees have violated the city policy clause of accepting any gift or favor with a value of over $10 without reporting it to the city secretary. He said he has no plans to take legal action against the city.
"They obviously decided they wanted me gone," Doughty said. "I don't know that I'd term it a witch hunt. It's League City. That ought to explain a lot."
City spokeswoman Kristi Wyatt said Thursday that Finance Director Mike Loftin will assume responsibility for the city's purchasing and information technology functions, while Public Works Director Rich Oller will oversee the city's solid waste contract and fleet maintenance operations.
Local Advertising by PaperG