Thursday, March 12, 2015

Hirschfeld Energy: San Angelo's Public Subsidy

City of San Angelo documents revealed details of the public's subsidy of Hirschfeld Energy Systems, LLC.  Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott eventually compelled the city to release the above information.  Here's the chain of events:

4-18-14:  I asked the city to provide a copy of any documents the City Council considered regarding Martifer-Hirschfeld's performance on their economic development agreement.  This item was on the public agenda for 4-15-14 before being moved to Executive Session.

4-25-14:  City Attorney Lysia Bowling asks the Texas Attorney General to withhold such information from requestor

6-20-14:  The Attorney General wrote "the city has not established any of the submitted information consists of a certified agenda or tape recording of a closed meeting.  Thus, the city may not withhold the remaining information under Government code.  As you raise no further exceptions to disclosure, the city must release the remaining information."

The City sent a printout of their spreadsheet, which lacked Hirschfeld's 2013 performance data.    The City's Hirschfeld investment can be seen below:

If the city paid the 2013 grant estimate the amount would grow to $674,063.  Between COSADC and the City of San Angelo that's $2.8 to $3 million in public subsidies.

Hirschfeld's performance for 2013 and 2014 remains a mystery despite numerous attempts to get such information.  One can only hope the Attorney General compels the city to release the COSADC compliance audit to the public.  San Angelo officials are yet to do so willingly.

The back-to-back COSADC board and City Council meetings on Wednesday produced news reports that city would file a lawsuit against Hirschfeld for nonperformance.  

Update 3-13-15:  The Standard Times ran Hirschfeld's defense.  

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