Monday, June 8, 2015

Businesses Of Mayoral Candidates' Spouses Scrutinized

Posted By on Mon, Jun 8, 2015 at 12:34 PM

The husbands of Ivy Taylor and Leticia Van de Putte are also under the microscope as the mayoral runoff election nears.
  • The husbands of Ivy Taylor and Leticia Van de Putte are also under the microscope as the mayoral runoff election nears.

After months of debates, politicking and — at least lately — a little bit of mud-slinging, we're finally in the last week of the mayoral election. After Saturday, we'll know if Mayor Ivy Taylor will continue her tenure, or if former State Senator Leticia Van de Putte will take control of the city's top political office.

And, for various reasons, there's probably no one more relieved to hear that than the candidates' husbands.

Both spouses' businesses were scrutinized in separate reports this weekend by the San Antonio Express-News.

Leticia Van de Putte’s husband Pete has owned and operated Dixie Flag Manufacturing Company for 35 years. But Van de Putte’s company dug a deep financial hole with the feds, accumulating over $100,000 in debt with the IRS.

Leticia Van de Putte does not own interest in the flag company. And although her husband has paid off the company’s debts, he said it was fair for the public to know about his tax issues.

But between the candidates’ spouses, Van de Putte hasn’t faced nearly as much scrutiny as his counterpart, Rodney Taylor.

The San Antonio Housing Authority has paid Rodney Taylor over $400,000 in subsidies since 2010 for managing rental properties he owns on the East Side. Those subsidies could constitute a conflict of interest for the mayor, who controls membership on SAHA’s Board of Directors.

A federal regulation bans any public official who “exercises functions or responsibilities” over housing assistance programs from directly or indirectly financially benefiting from those programs.

The mayor said she was unaware of any conflict of interest, but would recuse herself from “any consideration that the council takes that’s related to the program.”

Some of the residents of Taylor’s properties described him as a responsive and responsible landlord.

The Taylors have also drawn criticism for not filing a police report after a drive-by shooting outside Rodney’s bail bond business injured two people in November 2014.

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