Houston

Judge Lina Hidalgo staffers indicted in vaccine contract case

The expenses listed are misuse of official data and tampering with data.

HOUSTON — Felony indictments have been filed in opposition to three of Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo’s senior staffers in connection to the investigation into an $11 million COVID vaccine outreach contract.

The staffers have been recognized as Aaron Dunn, Wallis Nader and Alex Triantaphyllis, based on courtroom data. 

The expenses listed are misuse of official data and tampering with data.

An $11 million COVID vaccine outreach contract that was awarded to Elevate Strategies in June 2021 got here underneath scrutiny lately after it was found some staffers of Judge Lina Hidalgo’s Office helped the seller get hold of inside details about the contract weeks earlier than a request for proposal was open to the general public and labored to make sure one other company didn’t win the contract, based on a search warrant.

RELATED: Newly launched courtroom paperwork make clear investigation of $11 million Harris County vaccine contract

The staffers reportedly started speaking with Elevate Strategies CEO Felicity Pereyra about vaccine group outreach in January 2021, a month earlier than a request for proposal on the topic grew to become public, based on the search warrant.

Four firms in the end utilized for the project after the request for proposal grew to become public in February. The contract awarded to Elevate Strategies was initially accepted by Harris County Commissioners Court in June 2021.

RELATED: ‘Let the method play out’ | Judge Hidalgo will not ask aides to step down in wake of prison investigation

But later that contract was terminated in September 2021 after Elevate Strategies, an alleged one-person agency, got here underneath scrutiny for its inexperience in the sphere of public well being outreach, and for alleged political ties to native Democratic social gathering officers. 

It was chosen over the UT Health Service Center, regardless of UTHSC providing a decrease bid and score increased on evaluations, based on county data.

This story will probably be up to date all through the day as extra data on the indictments grow to be obtainable. Check again for updates.

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