A congresswoman’s son is facing public scrutiny for his mismanagement of a troubled flood control and real estate redevelopment project—and now his recently obtained resume shows he lacked any relevant education or work experience prior to overseeing the $1.168 billion endeavor.
Panther Island, conceived in 2003, seeks to reroute the Trinity River via a 1.5-mile bypass—and redevelop prime real estate—all under the guise of flood control.
The Trinity River Vision Authority, headed by Congresswoman Kay Granger’s son, J.D. Granger, was the entity created in 2006 to oversee coordination of the bypass channel, recreational amenities, and land redevelopment.
But in 2019, after years of cost overruns and delays, a third-party firm was hired to perform a programmatic review of the project. The review found Panther Island has cost taxpayers more than $383 million so far—with zero construction completed. Cost estimates have ballooned from $435 million in 2006 to more than $1.168 billion in 2018, and the project’s projected completion date has been delayed until 2028; but even that delayed date assumes the federal government will pour out more than $600 million to help finish the island.
The review also found administrative bloat in TRVA’s annual budget, including more than $220,000 in public relations propaganda, and revealed that Granger colluded with Tarrant Regional Water District General Manager Jim Oliver to keep the TRVA board in the dark.
Now, Texas Scorecard has obtained Granger’s resume (click here), which shows he lacked any prior education or work experience related to public works and/or real estate development.
Granger’s resume shows he holds a bachelor’s degree in economics, earned his law degree in 1997, and was hired as the assistant district attorney in Tarrant County after graduating.
With the exception of forming Granger Real Estate in 1997, almost all of Granger’s board appointments or other volunteer experience are connected to the Panther Island project, which was formerly called the Central City Project. His other appointments are merely volunteer oversight roles often filled by citizens in the community and are not considered professional work experience.
The review recommended that, moving forward, Granger’s TRVA only be responsible for completing the bypass channel and other flood control-related projects, though it did not recommend who should run the troubled TRVA. It also recommended that the recreational amenities be handled by Oliver’s TRWD and that a new nonprofit be created to take responsibility for Panther Island’s “economic development.”
Sources inside Tarrant County told Texas Scorecard there is movement to remove Granger and Oliver from the TRVA and TRWD in order to restore federal funding, but critics are skeptical that Granger will be removed altogether, fearing he will instead be reassigned to another role in one of the three organizations responsible for finishing what many have called a boondoggle.
Although a programmatic review has been completed, the TRVA has yet to undergo either a financial or forensic audit of where over $383 million in federal, state, and local taxpayer cash was spent.
Texas Scorecard will continue to report on details of the 90-page programmatic review and the effect the project is having on taxpayers.
To review the two-page resume, click here.