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Grand jury indicts three Hidalgo aides

Not great.

Three Harris County staffers at the center of a mounting investigation into a since-canceled vaccine outreach contract have been indicted with misuse of official information and tampering, according to district clerk records.

Aaron Dunn, Wallis Nader and Alex Triantaphyllis face one felony count on each of the charges. Warrants for their arrest have been issued. Documents elaborating on the charges were not yet available on the district clerk’s website.

Lawyers for at least two of the defendants professed their innocence Monday as the charges were made public.

“Aaron Dunn is innocent — he has been an honest public servant,” attorney Dane Ball said.

A lawyer for Triantaphyllis said she believes upcoming court proceedings will “shine a light” on the lack of wrongdoing.

“These charges against my client are unsupported by a full and objective review of the facts and the voluminous evidence in this case,” lawyer Marla Poirot said in a statement. “In his service to Harris County, Alex has made the people the top priority and worked to ensure that taxpayer resources are utilized as effectively and efficiently as possible.”

Nader’s lawyer could not be reached for comment. The three defendants are expected Tuesday in the 351st District Court.

In the months leading up to the indictments — the Texas Rangers, at the request of the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, identified the three staffers in search warrants as having a role in potentially steering a vaccine outreach contract in 2021 to a vendor by giving them early access.

The three worked under County Judge Lina Hidalgo at the time of the $11 million contract, which she canceled in September amid accusations that her office manipulated the procurement process.

Dunn has since left the office, while Triantaphyllis is the judge’s chief of staff and Nader is her policy director. According to lawyers for Hidalgo and the aides, the three did not view Elevate Strategies, owned by Democratic political consultant Felicity Pererya, as a potential vendor while planning the contract, their lawyers have said. Pererya’s company ultimately won the bid.

The lawyers have argued that one of the documents outlining the outreach contract’s scope of work were sent by mistake. Another was sent as part of an unrelated project.

There are reasons to be dubious of the evidence, but once there’s a headline like this, it’s hard to shake no matter what happens next. I certainly have my doubts about these indictments. We’ll know more soon enough. That’s all I’ve got to say at this time.

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  1. Mainstream says:

    I guess we can raise the Hidalgo political threat level to red/severe.

  2. Manny says:

    Mainstream, I see that you are parroting the Russian loving Right Wing of the Republican Party.

  3. Frederick says:

    Worse, I saw Ken Paxton and the 3 Hidalgo staffers drinking at a local bar last night and overheard them laughing their asses off at their so-called indictments.

    The 3 staffers were getting advice from Paxton on how to game the system.

  4. Chris Daniel says:

    well after it being partially available yesterday on the sometimes functioning District Clerk site, ALL THREE individuals and all 6 charges are gone from the public website today (April 12, 2022). Sealed? no legal reason to do so. Certainly not the whole case for each. Good grief.

  5. Kibitzer Curiae says:


    Some Big-County Clerks are suppressing public information and hiding even court orders behind their paywall. Worse than PACER. Dallas is a praiseworthy exception.

    Courthouse News is currently suing the Travis County District Clerk for her failure to provide ready-access even to the media, not to mention us, the unwashed masses.

    The case is
    Courthouse News Service v. Velva L. Price, et al, Civil Action No. 20-1260 in the USDC for the W.D. Tex-Austin Division.

  6. Manny,

    Russian Loving? That was debunked. Mueller report, remember? Just like the laptop. Russian propaganda. LOL

  7. Manny says:

    Paul just fibs about the bond system, you are better at that.

    Russian loving Republicans, Democracy hating Republicans, that and much worse is what the Republican stands for.

    Hate LGQT people, check
    Push racism, check
    against women determining what is best for themselves, check
    Push hate, check

    You belong to the Trump Party, the party pushes all of the above.

  8. Mainstream says:

    Manny, I stand with Ukraine, having donated to and attended the Houston Holocaust Museum concert for UNICEF, and multiple concerts of Axiom and other groups for RAZOM, donated to Doctors Without Borders, CRU in Romania, The Go Fund Me Ukraine Humanitarian Fund, and dozens of other groups, including the local [formerly named Russian] Cultural Center–Our Texas which had held multiple art auctions, concerts, and appeals in support of Ukraine medics and soldiers.

    Why don’t you get off your butt and do something to support Ukraine besides falsely assuming all Republicans love Putin, are racist, anti-gay etc.

  9. Manny says:

    Mainstream: Glad that when the wind shifted the Russian lovers shifted with the wind.

  10. C.L. says:

    Manny, your words are just meaningless at this point.

  11. Lingo says:

    … not to mention ambiguous:

    Russia lovers =/= Russian lovers