By Jon Cassidy | Watchdog.org
The co-chair of a legislative committee that investigated University of Texas regent Wallace Hall failed to disclose his conflict of interest in his conduct of the investigation: he had written one of the clout letters at issue in the controversy.
When Hall began asking questions about legislators pulling strings to get their unqualified friends and family members into UT, Speaker Joe Straus responded by assigning Reps. Dan Flynn and Carol Alvarado to lead a committee in finding grounds to impeach Hall.
Flynn, however, is one of the lawmakers who tried to pull strings for a family friend, and never disclosed that fact throughout his yearlong investigation, even as the question of legislative influence became the subject of two official investigations and independent media investigations, and ultimately led to the forced resignation of the university’s president, Bill Powers.
Flynn wrote a letter to Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa on behalf of a family friend who was applying to UT; the name of the applicant and the letter’s date are redacted on a copy of the letter that was published Thursday by the Texas Tribune.
The Texas Tribune published 112 pages of correspondence with Cigarroa’s office involving letters of recommendation; five of those letters were from state legislators: Reps. Flynn, Tryon Lewis and Brandon Creighton, and Sens. Carlos Uresti and Mario Gallegos.
A limited inquiry into Powers’ correspondence with legislators regarding 86 applicants found those applicants were four times more likely to be accepted than the general population.
The Tribune didn’t bother to mention Flynn’s letter in its own report. It did mention that Tryon’s letter invokes clout by referring to funding for the university’s engineering program.
The release also included a letter from Regent Steve Hicks to Powers on behalf of an applicant. Hicks is a supporter of Powers.
Contact Jon Cassidy at [email protected] or @jpcassidy000.
- Texas’ Rep. Pitts announces retirement after improper influence story
- University of Texas regents show support for Wallace Hall
- Case against UT regent Wallace Hall is a sham — here’s proof
- Texas senator got $477k for supposed ‘cameo’ appearance in Wallace Hall lawsuit
- Lawmaker admits pulling strings on UT admissions
- Trustee accused of crime for rejecting dodgy accounting
- Longhorns: Senator used clout in UT law school admissions
- Children of Texas lawmakers get into UT School of Law, but struggle to pass bar exam
- Chancellor is probing favoritism in UT admissions
- UT report: Charge against Hall is legally ‘absurd’
- Attorney in UT case hides six-figure charges despite terms of contract
- University of Texas clout scandal grows as new e-mails surface
- Four more get into UT Law despite low LSATs
- Reports on UT favoritism, impeachment expected soon
- Attorney: Secret tape covered up by lawmakers proves regent’s innocence
- Dozens of UT Law’s least qualified students are connected politically
- University of Texas uncovers admissions corruption, halts investigation
- UT admissions: Straus, Branch, Pitts pulled strings
- Who got the 128? UT Law admits students with bad LSAT scores
- Patrick’s win may doom Hall impeachment effort
- Chancellor promises complete investigation of UT admissions
- Board to decide UT president’s fate Thursday
- Texas politicians smarten up, ditch UT pres this time around
- Tribune story may have doomed UT’s Powers
- Academics condone the privilege they denounce
- Three essential stories on the UT admissions scandal
- Texas AG Greg Abbott embraces Roe v. Wade
- Roe v. Wade is AG’s new pretext for blocking Texas law school investigation
- Two UT regents pressed for records destruction
- New crime invented for Hall: assisted guesswork
- Texas lawmaker failed to disclose his own clout letter in UT flap
- Texas legislator Fischer insists on role in UT investigation
- Hutchison pulled strings for friends’ kids and grandkids at UT
- Ex-UT Law dean’s credit card bill: $400k in four years
- Abbott’s UT picks are pro-affirmative action
- Report: University of Texas showed favoritism to thousands
- Kroll ignored hundreds of weak UT applications
- Billionaire defends UT admissions privileges for ‘leaders’
- Weak admissions to University of Texas Law increased after Sager’s ouster
- Kroll report takes dig at Watchdog.org
- Hicks won’t stop UT’s backdoor admits
- Texas governor’s wife was on UT nominee’s payroll
- Bill to limit UT oversight clears committee
- UT regent blasts speaker for ‘abuse of office’
- Texas politician rebuts himself with apparently plagiarized letter
- Pay-to-play scandal involves UT dean, Texas Exes
- Supreme Court asked to look at UT’s backdoor admissions program
- Lawmakers want UT applications shielded from scrutiny
- McRaven makes UT scandal his own
- An open letter to Attorney General Ken Paxton on the UT cover-up
- Chancellor Bill McRaven’s UT cover-up has no defenders
- UT’s back door still open, but can’t stay secret, AG rules
- Whitewash: Kroll left dozens of bad LSATs out of UT report
- McRaven’s defense to Hall lawsuit refuted by own words
- Ready for the end of affirmative action?
- UT admissions scandal is 10 times bigger than official report
- McRaven trolls Dallas Morning News
- Powers to get top salary at UT Law
- UT sues to block Watchdog access to admissions investigation
- UT approves ‘Spinal Tap’ policy for backdoor admissions
- Admissions survey: No, UT, everybody doesn’t do it
- UT admissions scandal prompts new investigation
- Ticket scandal a black mark for UT, DA
- Showdown over UT cover-up nears end
- McRaven’s rationale for UT cover-up denounced by regents, AG
- High court to decide if University of Texas can deep-six investigation
- High court hears arguments on whether UT can bury investigation
- Testimony by UT contradicts story fed high court
- These ‘horns ain’t loyal, McRaven finds
- UT’s Hall challenges Abbott over board picks
- Texas Supreme Court nullifies rule of law; impunity to reign
- The battle for the Kroll records goes on