For months, Dallas citizens have had to defend their land from a Democrat state senator, who is trying to force upon them soccer fields they didn’t want. On Wednesday, citizens successfully pushed their city council to defeat the shady deal, avoiding clouds of corruption.

On Wednesday afternoon, the Dallas City Council unanimously defeated a special deal for the son of State Sen. Royce West (D–DeSoto) that would have built soccer fields underneath I-345 in the central part of Dallas, known as Deep Ellum.

Interstate 345, located in central Dallas in the Deep Ellum district, is a stretch of highway constructed in 1973 that has been blamed for the decades-long economic downturn of the area. While those in the area have been pushing to tear down this highway and build parking lots, West’s son Roddrick proposed building soccer fields instead—something he has no prior experience doing. He struggled to answer questions as to how he secured the bid for this project through the Texas Department of Transportation.

West was vocally supportive of the deal, raising questions of whether he would personally profit from it, considering his lucrative past with government contracts.

City council members also complained about city staff keeping details of the deal from them.

But on Wednesday, Councilmember Lee Kleinman made a motion to deny West his soccer fields. The motion passed unanimously.

“I’m glad it was struck down,” grassroots leader Troy Jackson said.

“Council made the right decision today by denying the soccer field proposal,” Councilman Chad West told Texas Scorecard. “I believe in transparency and fairness above all, and this entire proposal and its process was the complete opposite of that.”

“I have previously called this ‘an insider deal that is about power, money, and influence,’” Councilwoman Cara Mendelsohn told Texas Scorecard. “I am an advocate for ethics and transparency, and this deal wasn’t any of those.”

Deals such as this are far too common in government, as is seen with Fort Worth’s Panther Island boondoggle—involving U.S. Congresswoman Kay Granger (R–Fort Worth) and her son. Citizens must maintain vigilance in their local and state governments to continue preventing special deals for connected politicians.

“Politicians who use their influence to enrich their family members smacks of nepotism and graft,” grassroots leader Susan Fountain told Texas Scorecard. “I am sure that we do not need a replay of Kay Granger and her son’s fiasco development.”

Robert Montoya

Born in Houston, Robert Montoya is an investigative reporter for Texas Scorecard. He believes transparency is the obligation of government.


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