ETCOG denies claims agency isn't fiscally responsible - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

ETCOG denies claims agency isn't fiscally responsible

Posted: Updated:
  • CBS19.tv Web ExclusivesMore>>

  • Moms-to-be learn how to be Fit for Two

    Moms-to-be learn how to be Fit for Two

    Thursday, July 31 2014 11:54 PM EDT2014-08-01 03:54:43 GMT
    Exercising during pregnancy may have more benefits than you realize. Research finds it can make labor and delivery easier on your body. There are also benefits for baby. As little as 20 minutes of moderate exercise, three times per week enhances the newborn child's brain development.  In this week's Fit City, find out how ETMC is trying to create strong moms and healthy babies with one of its programs. More >>
    Exercising during pregnancy may have more benefits than you realize. Research finds it can make labor and delivery easier on your body. There are also benefits for baby. As little as 20 minutes of moderate exercise, three times per week enhances the newborn child's brain development.  In this week's Fit City, find out how ETMC is trying to create strong moms and healthy babies with one of its programs. More >>
  • Web Exclusive: Rob Lowe is getting "sharky" for a TV network

    Web Exclusive: Rob Lowe is getting "sharky" for a TV network

    Thursday, July 31 2014 9:45 AM EDT2014-07-31 13:45:11 GMT
    Actor Rob Lowe is lending his comedic talents to the Discovery channel.  In a new promo for Shark Week he throws up chum while riding two sharks.More >>
    Actor Rob Lowe is lending his comedic talents to the Discovery channel.  In a new promo for Shark Week he throws up chum while riding two sharks.More >>
  • Web Exclusive: Company cancels class to nix Southern accents, y'all, after complaints

    Web Exclusive: Company cancels class to nix Southern accents, y'all, after complaints

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 12:00 PM EDT2014-07-30 16:00:17 GMT
    We live in the South, so some of us may have a Southern accent, but would you consider saying "goodbye" to "howdy, y'all"?
    The Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee was going to offer a speech class for its workers next month to do just that, until it got canceled.
    More >>
    We live in the South, so some of us may have a Southern accent, but would you consider saying "goodbye" to "howdy, y'all"?
    The Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee was going to offer a speech class for its workers next month to do just that, until it got canceled.
    More >>
KILGORE (KYTX) - The former finance director for East Texas Council of Governments says a letter written by another employee is causing a firestorm at the agency in Kilgore, and even led to his firing on Friday.

Charles Cunningham says he witnessed many of the frivolous spending allegations, and while no state law was broken, thousands of dollars you pay in state and local taxes are lining the pockets some ETCOG contractors.

ETCOG's executive director says the allegations are not true, but the firestorm may be far from over.

This letter delivered to CBS 19 on January 23 leveled several accusations against ETCOG,  saying the agency was dishonest in how it procured bids for contracts, that outside contractors were deciding salaries for the agency's employees, that it was spending grant money dedicated for one department for other purposes, and that the executive director was creating unnecessary jobs purely for favoritism

Charles Cunningham says he saw much of it -- that includes using state and federal grants for unintended purposes.

"If you are directed to work on something that is not grant-related and charge it to a specific grant, then that's a violation of the requirements of the grant," Cunningham says.

ETCOG Executive Director David Cleveland wouldn't go on camera with CBS 19, but he has released a written response to allegations in the letter.

He says the agency is upfront on bid procurements, that contractors don't have a hand in ETCOG's payroll, that there is no favoritism, and that all agency spending lawfully follows state and federal accounting guidelines.

CBS 19 requested hundreds of documents, emails and invoices from ETCOG, many of them concerning the agency's contractor for Internet technology services.

Rockwall-based TH Enterprises and it's owner, Ted Hoisington, are getting as much as 750-thousand dollars this year for IT consultation and support, Cunningham says. Documents obtained by CBS 19 show that ETCOG often pays the company in excess of $20,000 a month for its services, and that Hoisington is paid $128 an hour.

But the letter's author, who remains anonymous. claims Hoisington has access to an unlimited amount of ETCOG funds.

Cunningham remembers in 2012, when ETCOG requested bids for IT support.

He says Cleveland wanted to hire Hoisington in advance as the agency's chief information officer, while hoisington's company bid for the IT contract, but that Cleveland later backed away from the plan.

"I think that scared off a few of the companies that might have bid on it, when they knew that Ted was the person of choice anyway to begin with," Cunningham says.

According to ETCOG, claims that TH Enterprises gets unlimited ETCOG money are false, and that the consultant helped ETCOG avoid catastrophe, because the agency's Internet technology equipment was sorely outdated when Cleveland arrived in 2007.

Cunningham says the frivolous spending he's seen might not have broken any laws, but it's costing the people of east Texas for whom state and federal grants are intended to help.


  • Local NewsMore>>

  • House GOP cancels vote on immigration bill

    House GOP cancels vote on immigration bill

    Thursday, July 31 2014 2:46 PM EDT2014-07-31 18:46:25 GMT
    Washington (CNN) -- On the last day before summer recess, dysfunction reigned in Congress.House Republicans canceled a vote on their $659 million emergency response to the border influx from Central America overwhelming immigration resources, unable to agree among themselves about what to do.More >>
    Washington (CNN) -- On the last day before summer recess, dysfunction reigned in Congress.House Republicans canceled a vote on their $659 million emergency response to the border influx from Central America overwhelming immigration resources, unable to agree among themselves about what to do.More >>
  • New Summerfield family awaits word if body found belongs to missing loved one

    New Summerfield family awaits word if body found belongs to missing loved one

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 10:22 PM EDT2014-07-31 02:22:54 GMT
    Missing person Javier JimenezMissing person Javier Jimenez
    NEW SUMMERFIELD -- Jessica Jimenez is consoled by family members after learning police have found a body just days after her father was reported missing. Javier Jimenez, 44, was last seen leaving his home in New Summerfield on the morning of July 23. More >>
    NEW SUMMERFIELD -- Jessica Jimenez is consoled by family members after learning police have found a body just days after her father was reported missing. Javier Jimenez, 44, was last seen leaving his home in New Summerfield on the morning of July 23. More >>
  • Nine Cases of Chikungunya Virus in Texas

    Nine Cases of Chikungunya Virus in Texas

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 3:58 PM EDT2014-07-30 19:58:47 GMT
    AUSTIN (KYTX)- Texas Department of State Health and Services has confirmed nine Texas cases of Chikungunya, a virus that can cause fever and severe joint pain and is transmitted by mosquitoes.More >>
    AUSTIN (KYTX)- Texas Department of State Health and Services has confirmed nine Texas cases of Chikungunya, a virus that can cause fever and severe joint pain and is transmitted by mosquitoes.More >>
Powered by WorldNow

CBS19, MYTX & KCEB
2211 ESE Loop 323
Tyler, TX 75701
Phone (903) 581-2211
Fax (903) 581-5769

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KYTX. All Rights Reserved. Users of this site agree to the Terms of Service, Privacy Notice/Your California Privacy Rights, and Ad Choices.