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Mayor calls for OIG investigation into Council Member Hoang
by Jeremy Rogalski / KHOU 11 News I-team
Posted on June 17, 2011 at 11:05 AM
Updated today at 11:39 AM
HOUSTON—Houston Mayor Annise Parker is requesting the City’s Office of Inspector General investigate allegations that Council Member Al Hoang forged signatures on a street name change petition where he resides.
"Mayor Parker thought there were enough questions about the street naming to warrant an OIG investigation," said Parker’s spokesperson Janice Evans. "She has directed the OIG to go ahead rather than wait for formal request from somewhere else.
"I welcome the Office of Inspector General investigation and will fully cooperate with it. I have already volunteered information to their office for a full and thorough investigation. I am completely confident that when all the facts are reviewed, I will be cleared of any wrongdoing, Hoang said in a written statement.
The controversy centers around a push to change the name of a Turtlewood Drive in Asia Town in Southwest Houston, to Little Saigon Drive.
The I-Team first reported Tuesday how a group of homeowners in the Turtlewood Square community is suing some neighbors, including Hoang, for allegedly forging their signatures on an official petition to change the street name.
"This is really underhanded," said homeowner Sue Tsai.
"It kind of looks like my name, but it’s not, and I was very angered," added Jenny Lu.
Council Member Hoang was allegedly the last person to handle the petition before it was sent to the city with the forged names. But Tuesday he told the I-Team he didn’t do it.
Hoang: "They (inaudible) to my nanny."
I-Team: "Your nanny?"
Hoang: "My nanny."
I-Team: "Your nanny did it?"
Hoang: "I don’t know for sure."
I-Team: "Who’s your nanny?"
Hoang: "At this point she doesn’t work for me anymore."
After the forgery allegations surfaced, Hoang took another route to push the street name change through—submitting a direct request without neighbor signatures—which he is allowed to do as a City Council member.
After City Council convened for its regular session Wednesday, Mayor Parker pledged a thorough review of all petitions before any vote is taken to change Turtlewood to Little Saigon Drive.
"If there are any irregularities during that, we’ll investigate those, but we’ll have to get this sorted out," Parker said.
"Nothing is going to move until we can be assured that the community wishes have been fairly represented," Parker said.
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