It began with a wink – a series of Facebook messages from Taft City Manager Denise Hitt to a private citizen asking for help getting people to the polls and then, a bonus if certain candidates won seats on the Taft City Council.
Six Investigates received copies of the messages from two separate individuals, one of whom says she was the recipient.
In the messages, sent last October soon before the November elections, Hitt asks:
"Can someone (wink) pay you to take folks to the polls?"
And, later, offers the individual a bonus:
"You tell me the hours. I’ll give you gas money each day and then we’ll work out payment. If (the) Mayor gets in, their (sic) will be a bonus amount. If Mayor and Felipe get in, it would be more."
The "Mayor" is Pedro Flores.
"Felipe" is Felipe "Boy" Rodriguez, a council candidate. Both men won their races, according to official election results.
However, Hitt has ignored texts, voice mails and emails requesting an interview on this topic. Therefore, 6 Investigates is filing a complaint with the San Patricio County Clerk for review.
Here’s the report: