Reporting Jason Allen
TARRANT COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) - There are allegations of confrontations and threats at the agency that provides water to nearly two million North Texans.
The newest board member of the Tarrant Regional Water District said her request for documents related to district emails, real estate records and payment records, was met instead with a heated lecture from the district’s general manager Jim Oliver.
“He said if you want records as a board member, you come through me,” Kelleher said, pounding on her chest to show how she said Oliver emphasized his words. “I thought ‘wow’.”
Kelleher, who won election to the board promising voters she would ask questions about district business, went to district headquarters June 21 to do just that. She submitted a request for meeting minutes, emails from directors, payments to contractors and details of any real estate deals involving Oliver. When she returned in the afternoon to pick up the records, she said Oliver quickly pulled her into an office.
“He shut the door behind him, and the next thing you know he’s telling me I need to set some ground rules for you,” she said.
Oliver didn’t respond directly to our request for comment, but in an emailed statement the district said in part “staff members confirmed that Mr. Oliver did not raise his voice during that discussion.”
The statement also said some of the documents Kelleher requested “would have violated provisions of the Texas government code.”
It was not the first time in her month since being elected that Kelleher says she’s been confronted. She was approached in the grocery store, she said, by someone saying they worked for a firm that did business with the district.
“Don’t mess with us,” Kelleher said the man told her. “When I asked for clarification, (he said) you heard me, don’t mess with us, and then walked away.”
Kelleher did get some of the documents in the mail on June 27, but not everything.
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