Statesman Investigates: State Contract Scandal

Questionable Texas contract deal was years in the making
Erich Schlegel / For American-Statesman

Questionable contract deal was years in making

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While he was brokering a multimillion-dollar state contract for Austin technology company 21CT, then-state health official Jack Stick was promoting 21CT’s software to other states, assisting the company’s growth plans and seemed poised to take an executive position with the firm, a former 21CT lobbyist told the American-Statesman.

“They thought that he was going to come over and run it, make it big, take it public,” said lobbyist James Frinzi, who is also Stick’s one-time business partner and who was fired by 21CT last week.

The story so far

Following several American-Statesman stories investigating a lucrative, no-bid state contract with Austin tech company 21CT, two top state health officials have resigned and a pending $90 million deal with the company was canceled. State officials, including Gov. Rick Perry, called last week for investigations into the deal. On Friday, the state auditor announced an investigation in conjunction with the anti-public corruption unit at the Travis County district attorney’s office.

Statesman Exclusive: Pro Soccer

Three MLS teams booked for Austin pro soccer event

Austin Aztex owners will bring a taste of Major League Soccer to town with a four-team, mid-February tournament involving three MLS clubs.

D.C. United, Columbus Crew SC and FC Dallas will join the Aztex for the ATX Pro Challenge at Mike A. Myers Stadium on the University of Texas campus, the American-Statesman learned Saturday night.


Statesman Investigates: Kyle

Kyle caught in middle of Police Chief Jeff Barnett’s private life
Ashley Landis / For American-Statesman

Kyle caught in middle of police chief’s private life

What began in a Dallas suburb as a sordid and private saga between a police chief, his married girlfriend and her angry husband has now spilled over into a public scandal that has put this town in the middle.

In April 2011, the Kyle City Council hired Jeff Barnett to head its fast-growing Police Department, saying the former FBI special agent was the leader they needed for the 25-officer agency.

» Interactive: Timeline of allegations against Police Chief Jeff Barnett


Statesman Exclusive: Biotechnology

Fujifilm deal boosts Texas A&M’s biotech credentials
Texas A&M System

Fujifilm deal boosts Texas A&M’s biotech credentials

A division of Fujifilm Holdings is buying a large stake in a private company, Kalon Biotherapeutics, that Texas A&M created three years ago to operate its new bio-manufacturing center.

Fujifilm joins GSK, the world’s largest vaccine maker, as the second worldwide company to invest in the emerging bio-corridor in Bryan-College Station.

“Two global companies have said, ‘We’re putting our money in Texas,’” said Andrew Strong, Kalon’s CEO who has effectively worked himself out of a job.

Statesman In-Depth

Fall of ‘42 saw Austin at top of Texas high school football
Rodolfo Gonzalez

Fall of '42 saw Austin at top of Texas high school football

Seventy-two years ago, the Texas high school football spotlight shined directly on the state capital.

In the fall of 1942, the state’s two state high school championships were claimed by Austin schools. Austin High took home the University Interscholastic League’s Class 2A championship. Anderson High earned the top prize at the conclusion of the Prairie View Interscholastic League’s third-ever postseason tournament.

Texas Economy

Experts: Lower oil prices a threat to Texas economy
LM Otero / Associated Press

Experts: Lower oil prices a threat to state

These days, Texas consumers are celebrating the lowest gasoline prices in more than five years.

But lower oil prices are also a risk factor for the overall Texas economy, which depends heavily on the energy industry. In fact, some experts say Texas is in danger of losing billions in revenues and hundreds of thousands of jobs due to the declining price of oil.


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