Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Curious Citizen Brigade Rides

One day after San Angelo City Council amended economic development restrictions and approved $3.6 million in incentives for MedHab, a research posse rode out.  Here's what they found:

1.  Mayor Alvin New is listed as a board member on MedHab's website, not an advisory member as represented.

2.  The deal may need more than a COSADC policy change, as it appears to violate the City Charter which states

A. In addition to the requirements prescribed by law, the following shall be the qualifications for the Members of the City Council:

1. Candidates for the City Council shall have been City residents for the 12 months next preceding the election and Candidates for Single Member District representatives shall have been residents of their respective districts for 6 months next preceding the election.

2. No Member shall be an employee of the city.

3. All candidates must possess the qualifications of a voter.

4. No person shall be eligible for the City Council who, at the time of taking office, is delinquent in payment of a valid tax levy, assessment paving lien or contractual debt or is indebted to the City in any sum of money on judgment.

5. No Member shall have an interest in the profits or emoluments of any contract, job, work or service for the City.

6. No Member shall have an interest in the sale to the City of any supplies, equipment or material.

B. Any Member who shall cease to possess any of the qualifications herein required shall forfeit his office.

C. Any contract in which a Member is or becomes interested may be declared void by the Council.

D. Each person elected to City office, as a condition to being administered the oath of office, shall have filed with the City Clerk a signed, sworn statement indicating that he or she is in compliance with the above stated qualifications and requirements.

E. Each person subject to this provision shall file with the City Clerk a signed, sworn, updated revision of this statement, annually, while in office.

Amended 4/13/76, 5/6/89 and 11/16/07)

Mayor New has a clear interest, currently undisclosed as to the nature of his MedHab investment and compensation arrangements for serving as a board member. 

3.  The board list filed with the Texas Comptrollers' Office shows ten members.  Oddly, one is a business, Deaton Engineering, while another looks like a stuck typewriter key, NNNN.  NNNN's address is the same as Lisa Eady Investments, 502 S. KOENIGHEIM, SUITE 1A.  Only the MedHab listing had the zip code as 76904, when it's really 76903.

4.  MedHab is already getting aid from the Ft. Worth Tech Accelerator and has a development agreement with Rice University in addition to their connections with ASU. In addition to their office in Ft Worth, their home is in Mansfield, TX and they have another office in Tyler. Pretty spread out for such a young start up.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office website showed only one patent assigned to them. It was approved in June.  There were no pending patents or patents assigned to MedHab or their listed inventors. I hope they have the licenses they will need to other patents and intellectual property needed to manufacture these devices. Hard to make even a simple pair of shoes anymore without infringing on someones patent, trade secret, or other IP.

ConchoInfo, GoSanAngelo's Old Yeller and State of the Division found these tidbits.  Join the ride and post what you find out here.

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