Like a crack in a windshield, the contracting scandal that prompted the resignation of a top Health and Human Services Commission official continues to spread.
And the trail appears to go straight to the top.
According to the Houston Chronicle, HHSC director Kyle Janek may have been more involved in promoting the $90 million extension of a major contract — even after revelations it was awarded without competition — than he previously disclosed.
Janek canceled the questionable contract on Dec. 12, as news stories about possible conflicts of interest were breaking and three days after chief counsel Jack Stick resigned from the department. Stick has been identified as a major player in securing the contract with Austin technology firm 21 Century Technologies through a process that ducked proper agency rules .
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But new information indicates that Janek contacted legislators in December, urging them to approve the extension. And one would have to suspend reality to believe that Janek was oblivious to the burgeoning problems when such contact was made.
Several investigations are already underway, including a review just ordered by incoming Gov. Greg Abbott.