Case Analysis : Houston Community College Trustee Dave Wilson

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Houston Community College Trustee Dave Wilson filed a complaint with the District Attorney’s office against HCC Chancellor Cesar Maldonado and Chief Facilities Officer Chuck Smith back in August, for what Wilson considers fraud and misappropriation of bond funds. Wilson alleges that money was intentionally paid in excess of the fair market value of the former Conn’s Appliance store building at 5505 West Loop South Freeway, in front of the current West Loop campus. “The misstatements by the Chancellor and Smith resulted in excess money being paid for the property,” stated Wilson in the complaint. Despite several attempts, Chancellor Maldonado could not be reached for comment. The trustees approved the purchase of the property for…show more content…
The second appraisal had the extraordinary assumption that the property would be leased to Tesla Motors at $23 per square foot. Based on the assumption that all 25 thousand square feet would be leased at that rate, the appraisers reported that the market value was $8,510,000, over three million more than what they said it was three months prior. The property was purchased with HCC bond money, which is collected through district taxes for the purposes furthering the college’s mission by doing such things as purchasing necessary sites for school buildings. The Chancellor and Smith informed the Board of Trustees that only 20 thousand square feet of the Conn’s property would be leased. At the same time, HCC would use the remaining 5 thousand square feet. In a Memorandum from to Trustee Wilson dated March 3, 2015, Chancellor Maldonado stated that, “During the last Board meeting, Mr. Chuck Smith mentioned that the college would lease a portion of the store to a third party and that the tenant of choice was Tesla Motors; however, despite our best efforts, negotiations with Tesla ended due to our inability to come to reasonably terms of lease [emphasis added].” With HCC using the building, it would still fulfill the bond promise in some way. “If you bought that building to rent it all out to Tesla, then you

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