Tuesday, July 24, 2018

#TXLEGE: Murphy attempting to thread thin ethical/legal needle over apparent Conflict of Interest

"And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold."
Matthew 24:12

Confession: We had forgotten about Jim Murphy drawing a $312k salary from a Harris County special purpose district while chairing the Special Purpose Districts committee in the Texas house.

An interim hearing last week reminded us:

Oh yeah....

Poking around the internet, we found this follow up report from May:


  • Murphy no longer listed as "General Manager," now working as an "independent contractor."
  • Murphy still banking $26k+ per month!!!
    • In other words, he's still making $312k annually.
    • Fixed fee.
  • "This, just, looks like a salary."
  • Murphy getting continuous monthly payments and re-imbusements.
  • Murphy's contract "is unique."
  • Sarah Davis on Murphy's previous bonuses: "It doesn't smell good, it really doesn't."
    • Note: Good grief...are we going to have to agree with Sarah FRIGGIN' Davis on this one?!?
  • Davis has asked for multiple A.G. opinions.
What to say?!?

This author is not a lawyer, so we can't comment on the legal issues.  This may very well be one of those "technically legal" situations.  But "technically legal" does not mean ethical.

And, even in the current arrangement passes "technically legal" muster, it doesn't excuse the previous decade.

Then there's the ongoing committee chairmanship: Whether or not Jim Murphy's compensation agreements dotted all the legal "i's" and crossed the legal "t's," it hardly seems appropriate for Jim Murphy to continue as chairman of the legislative committee with jurisdiction.  But that's a decision for the speaker.  And we're stuck with Joe Straus for another six months.

Bottom Line: None of this looks good....

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