Houston’s Public Works and Engineering Director, Karun Sreerama, resigned on Friday following a roughly two-week leave because of his involvement in a Houston Community College bribery scheme.

Sreerama was only on the job for four months before an unsealed indictment revealed that he made unlawful payments totaling nearly $80,000 to HCC Trustee Chris Oliver, who is currently awaiting sentencing for accepting the bribes. Court transcripts told a story of Oliver promising to make Sreerama a millionaire through contracts awards if Sreerama continued to make payments.

His resignation was announced in a Friday press release.

“Karun Sreerama has accomplished much in Houston as a businessman and involved citizen. I am sure he will continue to be an asset to our community. However, he and I have agreed that it would be best for the city for him to step down as director of the city Public Works and Engineering Department.”

Sreerama is set to appear in a press conference Friday afternoon, where he is expected to address his involvement in the corruption case. Oliver is set to be sentenced on Nov. 13.

Charles Blain

Charles Blain is the president of Urban Reform and Urban Reform Institute. A native of New Jersey, he is based in Houston and writes on municipal finance and other urban issues.

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