League City asks for probe of gifts [clarification]
League City has asked the Texas Rangers to investigate whether any crime was committed by a former city official accused of failing to report gifts from his girlfriend, who helped found AmeriWaste, the city's garbage contractor.
Travis Doughty, who was League City's director of general services, was fired on June 3 over a city policy that prohibits city employees from accepting gifts or favors worth more than $10 without reporting it to the city secretary.
We just want to make sure that there weren't any laws broken in a criminal nature," said City Manager Marcus Jahns.
On Monday, Jahns said that the Texas Rangers had already started their investigation -- a statement reported by Ultimate Clear Lake -- but Tom Vinger, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety, said a formal investigation has not yet been launched.
Investigators are still waiting to hear from Galveston County District Attorney Kurt Sistrunk to determine if an investigation is warranted, he said. Messages left for Sistrunk haven't been returned, but Vinger said the Texas Rangers have met with League City officials and have turned over a deposition to the Galveston County District Attorney's Office.
The city chose the Texas Rangers to avoid any possibility of bias in the investigation, Jahns said.
We wanted a completely neutral third party," he said. Who better than the Texas Rangers to do it?"
In a text message Monday night, Doughty, 62, wrote that he was unaware of any investigation.
"I have no concerns," he wrote.
Earlier this month, Doughty said he didn't feel like he violated any city policy.
Asked at the time if he accepted any gifts from his girlfriend, Janell 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."
The deposition turned over to Galveston County District Attorney's Office is the one Doughty gave May 20 in his girlfriend's divorce proceedings in which allegations that he took gifts arose.
I'm not against Travis or anything," Jahns said. "I just want to make sure we're clean."
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.
The county district attorney's office investigated whether City Council members violated the Texas Open Meetings Act as part of the deal, but the matter was no-billed by a grand jury.
In 2008, a civil jury found Marin liable for fraud and forgery against IESI, and earlier this year a Texas appeals court upheld that decision.
Doughty said at the time that the city's garbage contract was awarded to AmeriWaste, he was not romantically involved with Marin, who still works for AmeriWaste.
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