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KPRC 2 Investigates: A deeper look into conspiracy charge against William-Paul Thomas, a top aide to Mayor Turner

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HOUSTON – KPRC 2 Investigates has previously looked into the city of Houston director who pleaded guilty in a federal criminal conspiracy investigation.

William Paul Thomas, who served as the director of council relations and was often seen standing at Mayor Sylvester Turner’s side during almost every city council meeting, submitted a letter announcing his retirement for health reasons just weeks before being charged in the federal case.

Recently unsealed federal court documents show Thomas admitted to accepting a cash bribe in exchange for changing a bar’s classification to a restaurant.

“The person who ends up doing that, pleading guilty to the criminal information, there’s much evidence against them and they have no choice but to cooperate,” said Former Federal Prosecutor Michael Wynne.

Now, KPRC 2 Investigates is taking a deeper look at Thomas’ case and examining who else may be involved.

“What we learned the first day of criminal procedure is that you can’t conspire with yourself, so all of this raises the question — who did he allegedly conspire as part of this charged offense?” asked KPRC 2 legal expert Bryan Wice.

On Wednesday, when asked if he has any concerns about the federal investigations, Turner said “I’m concerned if any employee, anyone of 22,000 employees does anything contrary to policy or to the law. That would be any of the employees, no matter who that particular person might be. But I’m not going to speculate on something I have no information on. And I think that would be unfair. It will run its course.”

Prior to the court document being unsealed, Mayor Turner said Thomas was retiring for personal reasons in relation to his health.

Prior to the court document being unsealed, Mayor Turner said Thomas was retiring for personal reasons in relation to his health.

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Sourabh Verma franklin
Sourabh Verma,From Franklin Tn - Sub-editor in Asian News International(ANI) I am a detailed-driven journalist with 3+ years of experience in news writing and copy-editing, I can file quick, compelling and error-free stories as they break. I have sound knowledge of national and international issues and have covered stories across beats, including politics, parliament, legal and crime like drugs and Human Trafficking at Asian News International (ANI), where I currently work. Some of these include extensive coverage of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, several state Assembly elections, Parliament sessions, COVID-19 pandemic and other stories of national importance. A typical working day involves copy-editing dozens of drafts, managing junior sub-editors in shifts and keeping an eye on developing stories. This added responsibility followed a couple of years of filing stories based on press briefings, bytes and inputs from reporters on the ground.
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