The developers of the controversial illegal alien housing development, Colony Ridge, have awarded more than $16 million in taxpayer dollars to a paving company with close ties to board members. 

A recent investigation by The Daily Wire shows that the paving company, Liberty Paving LLC, likely has a direct connection to the managing board members, developers, and their family members. 

One of the developers of Colony Ridge, William “Trey” Harris, and others connected to the development site serve on a local government board created on behalf of the development. The board has the power to tax residents and allocate taxpayer funds to address the community’s needs.

According to documents reviewed by The Daily Wire, the board unanimously voted to grant multi-million dollar contracts to Liberty Paving LLC. 

The paving company has direct ties to Trey Harris’ brother, John Harris, who co-owns the development. John is also the director and president of T-Rex Management, which manages Liberty Paving. 

Liberty Paving can also be linked to Savannah Crihfield—the secretary of the management board—who also voted to award the company with the contract. Crihfield is the President of CH&P Management, which is listed as Liberty Paving’s registered agent. CH&P, as a registered agent, can be compensated in return for receiving official documentation such as tax notices and court papers. Both CH&P Management and T-Rex Management share the same business address. 

Furthermore, Liberty Paving publicly lists one of Colony Ridge’s utility board members, Patrick Thiel, as their executive. The utility board can also allocate tax revenues. 

Thiel previously worked as the principal for the construction company R&T Ellis, which has worked on Colony Ridge and is owned by Republican State Rep. Ernest Bailes’ cousin.  

Ties to Bailes go further, as the Colony Ridge Management Board, formally known as Liberty County Municipal Management District No. 1, was created in 2017. Bailes authored legislation during Texas’ 85th legislative session creating the district. The resolution, House Bill 4341, would later be passed through the Texas House and the Texas Senate and would go into effect immediately, without Gov. Greg Abbott’s signature. 

Bailes also is financially connected to the illegal alien community. His campaign received $1,800 from William Harris—who has also given hundreds of thousands of dollars to Abbott. Bailes has also received $9,000 from Entergy Corporation Political Action Committee (PAC), an energy company that services the six subdivisions that comprise Colony Ridge. Furthermore, the PAC for Coats Rose—the law firm that provides legal services to the management board—has also given $7,500 to Bailes. 

Texas Scorecard has reported on the effects Colony Ridge has had on local resources, including on its school district. The number of students within the district doubled from 6,584 students to more than 12,400, leading the district to build six new schools to accommodate the growing population. 

The development has also garnered attention from the Texas GOP, where members unanimously voted for a resolution calling for legislation to be added to a special session call to prevent further illegal alien settlements from being developed in Texas. 

Although Colony Ridge was added to a special session call, the only legislation to arise was Senate Bill 3, which provides $1.5 billion for the maintenance, operation, and construction of border barrier infrastructure. It also sets aside $40 million for the Texas Department of Public Safety to use for policing the Colony Ridge development. 

It has been sent to Abbott and is awaiting his signature. 

Emily Medeiros

Emily graduated from the University of Oklahoma majoring in Journalism. She is excited to use her research and writing skills to report on important issues around Texas.