It’s reported State Rep. Vicki Truitt has received $350,000 in tax-funded no-bid contracts from at least one governmental entity, shortly after getting a chairmanship under the speakership of Joe Straus. Are sweetheart deals, undisclosed to the taxpayers, why Truitt seeks reelection – and why she’s tries deflecting attention from her record?

Rep. Truitt and one of her ideologically-challenged colleagues last week made a splash leveling spurious ethics charges against TFR as an organization, and me personally. She is marking a bizarrely technical argument about a law that doesn’t apply to us, for what we do in the full light of day.

Since becoming a committee chair for Joe Straus, Vicki Truitt has allegedly received $350,000 in no-bid contracts from a government entity.

She’s apparently using her position of power trying to silence conservatives, starting with us.

Today we learn she’s also apparently been using her power to secure high-dollar, no-bid contracts. (A little contrast: We work in the light of day, while she’s reportedly profiting from no-bid contracts with taxing entities!)

Texas Watchdog today reports Truitt, a Republican from the Tarrant County town of Southlake, claims the company she runs with her husband — “Physician Resource Network” – was established in 1984 and has done business with the Tarrant County Hospital District since before she was elected in 1998.

State records, however, show the business wasn’t registered until 1992, and the Hospital District doesn’t show any monies paid to her business until 2004. According to today’s Texas Watchdog story:

Truitt said that she has had a contract with the Tarrant County Hospital District for years before her election to public office.

“Let me tell you something, we’ve had a small business that I started in 1984,” Truitt said. “My service to the hospital district has nothing to do with my humbling public office. I’ve had a long-standing relationship with the Tarrant County Hospital District that far predates the current contract and certainly predates my service in the Texas Legislature.

“I am entitled to make a living. Our contract goes back much farther than that.”

Records obtained from the hospital district show that the Truitts did not receive any money until the 2004 payment for $20,000.

It’s unclear why she seems to have misrepresented both the founding of her company, and the years for which it received payment from the hospital district.

Except, perhaps, that her sweetheart, no-bid contracts were reportedly signed by various donors to her political campaign.

Truitt’s biggest pay-days came in 2009 and 2010, when her company – again in no-bid contracts – received $160,000 each year. Her company’s “work” for the taxpayers:

…to determine the physician staffing needs in the district and to improve recruitment for the district’s family medicine residency program.

Those contracts happen to have arrived just as Truitt was given a committee chairmanship by House Speaker Joe Straus.

From what other governmental entities are Truitt and her husband getting undisclosed, no-bid contracts?

It’s interesting to that that her consultant is lobbyist Bryan Eppstein, notorious for securing contracts for his various businesses from Metroplex area governmental entities. One wonders what undisclosed contracts other Eppstein clients are getting.

Yes, Vicki Truitt is allowed to make a living, but it looks like she and her husband have been cashing in on no-bid contracts awarded by political cronies based on her powerful position as a committee chairman in the Straus leadership circle. No wonder she wants to silence questions about her record.

Michael Quinn Sullivan

Michael Quinn Sullivan is the publisher of Texas Scorecard. He is a native Texan, a graduate of Texas A&M, and an Eagle Scout. Previously, he has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine contributor, Capitol Hill staffer, and think tank vice president. Michael and his wife have three adult children, a son-in-law, and a dog. Michael is the author of three books, including "Reflections on Life and Liberty."