Houston mayoral candidate Tony Buzbee held a press conference calling for an independent investigation into Mayor Sylvester Turner and the hiring of Airport System intern, Marvin Agumagu.
A recent KRPC investigation by Mario Diaz detailed a sweetheart deal, blessed by Mayor Sylvester Turner himself, that created an executive-level internship in the Houston Airport System with a salary of $95,000.00.
“This is a defining moment of this campaign. The question for voters who have not yet made up their minds is, who can you trust? Who will look at you directly in the eye and lie to you, and who can you trust?” Buzbee said kicking off the press conference.
When Mario Diaz questioned Turner about his relationship with Agumagu, Turner responded, “I have no clue who you are talking about,” but after numerous pictures, videos, and even correspondence emerged over the past 24 hours, Turner released a statement saying that he did, in fact, know Agumagu but he was caught off guard when questioned
“There’s been some in this crowd, on twitter,” Buzbee said at his conference, “who have suggested this is some attack on the mayor and the mayor’s lifestyle…this is an attack on the mayor and the way he conducts himself as an elected official.”
Buzbee, and most who have seen the report of the incident, focused heavily on Turner’s initial outright denial about knowing Agumagu. To combat that, Buzbee produced a letter that Turner sent to members of Texas Southern University’s Thurgood Marshall School of Law in which he endorses Agumagu for Mr. TSU, he also presented pictures of Agumagu visiting Turner in his City Hall office and referring to him as his “mentor.”
Buzbee also claims to have redacted text message between Turner and Agumagu, but couldn’t speak to the contents. He did, however, say, “I would respectfully suggest to you that there are many, many more individuals who the mayor has exchanged texts with, stay tuned.”
Turner’s press release, to no avail, attempted to clear up the official definition of “intern” and clarify his actual relationship with Marvin.
Buzbee called for investigations by the Public Integrity Unit, District Attorney Kim Ogg, Attorney General Ken Paxton, Governor Greg Abbott, and the Texas Rangers. Council Member and mayoral challenger Dwight Boykins also opined, calling for the Office of Inspector General to investigate any improprieties surrounding Agumagu hiring, saying, “In the interest of transparency, I believe we owe it to the taxpayers to understand what happened.”