TX Tech Company Received No-Bid Contract Shortly after Making Thousands in Contributions

News Observer: “An Austin tech executive gave political contributions to Republican House Speaker Joe Straus and other lawmakers days before her company sought approval of a $90 million contract that is now the focus of a criminal investigation, a newspaper reported Saturday.

“Straus spokesman Jason Embry said the speaker’s campaign received and ‘quickly returned’ a $10,000 contribution from 21CT chief executive Irene Williams in early December. Republican state Rep. John Zerwas and Republican state Sen. Craig Estes also told the Austin American-Statesman (http://bit.ly/1vHCHYb ) they also don’t want the money Williams gave them.”

“Campaign finance records also show that Robert Williams — 21CT’s chief financial officer and husband of Irene Williams — contributed $10,000 to incoming Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick in October. As lieutenant governor, Patrick will serve as co-chairman of the Legislative Budget Board.

“Patrick spokesman Alejandro Garcia said the campaign doesn’t intend to return that contribution.”

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