Taylor Texas Housing Authority steals money meant to house the Poor

by  Tom Mowdry

Since 1954, Texas Court rulings and the Texas Attorney General determined that the Taylor Housing
Authority, created by the Taylor City Council, is legally a “division” of the City of Taylor, TX. The motive
of any contrary claims must be questioned with the Texas court decisions, the Texas Attorney General’s
opinions, and knowledge of the information in this document:
Extract of Texas Attoney General Opinon DM-71:

Texas authorities presented with the issue have uniformly held municipal housing authorities to
be “divisions” of municipalities and, as such, subject to the laws applicable to municipalities.
Mm v. Ho&g Auth of Dallas, 266 S.W.2d 487 (Tex. Civ. App.–Dallas 1954, writ refd n.r.e.); Aemu
Casualty & Surety Co. v. Glidden Co., 283 S.W.2d 440 (Tex. Civ. App.-Eastland 1955), rev’d on
other groti, 291 S.W.2d 315 (Tex. 1956); Attorney General Opinions JM-687 (1987); JM-573
(1986); MW-132 (1980).

The March 12, 2013, Taylor Housing Authority (THA) Commissioners Board meeting minutes
document that the Board Chairman, Mr. Benito Gonzales, reported to the City Attorney, Ted Hejl,
evidence of an illegal, unauthorized, asset and cash flow separation of 104 apartment units from THA’s
control. (THA Commissioners Board Meeting minutes dated March 12, 2013.)

Although the Taylor City Attorney, Ted Hejl, received the report of missing money and assets, Ted
Hejl did nothing. Ted Hejl never reported the matter to the Taylor Mayor. Ted Hejl never reported the
matter to any law enforcement authority. Ted Hejl did not advise THA to report the matter to the Taylor
Mayor or any law enforcement authority. When Ted Hejl learned THA was missing assets and money,
he did nothing. Ted Hejl had a “timely” and “accurate” legal advice obligation, under his contract, to
advise the Mayor. By law, Texas Local Government Code 392, the Taylor Mayor is responsible for THA’s
efficiency. Such a massive loss of assets and cash flow is inefficient, and suggests neglect and

Extract from Texas Local Government Code 392:
Sec. 392.041. REMOVAL OF A COMMISSIONER. (a) The mayor may remove a commissioner of
a municipal housing authority for inefficiency, neglect of duty, or misconduct in office.

On October 2, 2014, eighteen months after the missing THA assets report to the Taylor City Attorney,
the Federal HUD OIG published an audit memorandum documenting criminal fraud and theft at THA.
Fraud, and the theft of $ millions in property assets and a continuing monthly cash flow, from THA.
The audit was initiated after the HUD OIG received an anonymous tip. That anonymous tip suggests
the tipster knew the City Attorney intended to do nothing about the thefts. But, HUD did do
something and gave the City the evidence. The HUD OIG audit quickly identified the suspects and the
obvious fraud: Audit memorandum dated October 2, 2014.

The HUD OIG audit memorandum identified the THA Director, Mr. Steven Shorts, and two non-
profit entities with board members including Mr. Steven Shorts and Mr. Ed Komandosky as suspects   

for fraudulent transfer of assets, cash, and continuing cash flow, all now exceeding $10 million, from
assets and properties owned by THA.

 Ted Hejl, the Taylor City Attorney is now, and has for an extended time, been the attorney for the
Lower Brushy Creek Water Control Improvement District (LBCWCID) (see page 2 of link). Mr. Ed
Komandosky has been a long time elected member of and is the President of the LBCWCID. Ted Hejl
worked for Mr. Ed Komandosky as the LBCWCID legal counsel at the time the missing THA assets
were reported to Ted Hejl. Ted Hejl still holds that LBCWCID job. The HUD OIG memorandum
identified Mr. Steven Shorts, and two non-profit entities as the thiefs. Specifically, THA properties,
assets and cash flow, were fraudulently transferred from THA to the non-profits’ control. Mr. Ed
Komandosky was Vice Chair then, and is now the Board Chairman of each of those non-profits. Mr.
Komandosky is a former Taylor City Council member and former THA Commissioner, having extensive
interaction with Ted Hejl over time.

THA is a publicly owned housing business, owning property with renters subsidized by taxpayer
Federal funds. Prior to the fraudulent transfer, THA’s property management costs for the 104 stolen
units were less than $80,000 per year. That management cost was consistent with the National
Apartment Association’s standard. In 2012, soon after the “non-profits” fraudulently took over, the
annual management cost exceeded $500,000. The excessive costs, after Mr. Shorts’s and Mr.
Komandosky’s non-profits took over the properties, were due to increased management
compensation. Another $1.4 million is missing for the five year period from 2011 to 2016. The cost
data was taken from IRS Form 990s filed by the two non-profits.

After the HUD OIG memorandum was published and made public, 72+% of Facebook individuals
surveyed by the Taylor Press expressed concern about the THA corruption. 72% wanted the matter
investigated, even though the survey question was written, by Editor Richard Stone, to discourage an
investigation. Mr. Richard Stone was recently employed by the LBCWCID, where Mr. Komandosky is

On January 7, 2015, Ted Hejl signed and filed a “civil” lawsuit for THA against Mr. Steven Shorts
and the two non-profits identified by the HUD OIG report. In the lawsuit, Ted Hejl described the
actions of Mr. Steven Shorts and the non-profits as illegal, criminal. But, while claiming crimes were
committed and having the HUD audit in hand, no police complaint was filed. Mr. Ed Komandosky was
on the Board of the accused non-profits. Mr. Shorts was Chairman and Mr. Komandosky was Vice
Chairman of each Board. Mr. Komandosky is now Chairman of both those non-profit Boards. With
Ted Hejl’s recommendation, the Dietz & Jarrod law firm was also engaged to work on the lawsuit. On
June 6, 2015, the suit was amended. Suspiciously, no detailed financial analysis of THA’s losses,
using IRS Form 990s, was included or presented to the court in the lawsuit.

Ted Hejl charged THA for legal advice and services against Mr. Ed Komandosky while Ted Hejl
was employed by Mr. Komandosky as legal counsel for LBCWCID. THA records show that Ted Hejl
accepted at least $56,644.27 from THA for work on lawsuits against Mr. Komandosky. Taylor City
Attorney Ted Hejl violated legal ethics by taking money for legal services against Mr. Komandosky
while employed as a financially compensated subordinate to Mr. Komandosky. A clear “conflict of
interest.” Ted Hejl’s expensive legal work for THA has gained THA nothing. Dietz & Jarrod, referred to
the case by Ted Hejl, received at least $146,222.79 from THA.

The lawyers representing Mr Shorts, and the non-profits, to include Mr. Komandosky probably
knew their client was the President of the LBCWCID and Ted Hejl was the legal counsel for the
LBCWCID. However, there was no mention of that conflict of interest. A conflict, which was a clear
ethics violation. The records show the non-profits paid $258,389.00 to their lawyers by the end of
2016. That money came from the stolen properties. No matter which side, the taxpayers were
financing it all. Quite a racket. Ted Hejl doesn’t call law enforcement. Ted Hejl lets the statute of
limitations expire. Ted Hejl makes it a financially rewarding civil lawsuit for all the lawyers involved.
Not hard to figure out. The taxpayers lose the property and money and then pay for both sides of the
legal contest trying get their property back while THA’s lawyer has a major conflict of interest. It
leaves little doubt about why THA hasn’t seen progress in the lawsuit.

The original THA lawsuit was filed on January 7, 2015. The lawsuit claimed Level 3 discovery
would be conducted under Texas Rules of Civil Procedures. However, under Ted Hejl’s leadership, not
one person involved on either side of the lawsuit has been deposed since the multi-million $ lawsuit
was filed over 6 years ago. A “deposition” is the common legal process of documenting asking
witnesses and suspects questions, under oath, for investigation or in preparation for court trial.
Depositions in this matter would be readily available to the public under the Texas Public Information
Act. The failure to depose witnesses and suspects, in such an obvious case, suggests Ted Hejl did not
want to ask any documented questions which would become public, revealing the sincerity of the
deposition. The City should seek to determine if the Dietz and Jarrod firm supported or objected to
the “no criminal complaint and no deposition” strategy for THA’s success.

Ted Hejl’s City Attorney contract requires “timely and accurate” legal advice to the City of Taylor.
Ted Hejl did not advise THA to make a criminal complaint concerning the theft of millions $ in assets
and money from THA. No criminal complaint means no criminal investigation by qualified and
independent authorities. Ted Hejl did not notify the Mayor. Ted Hejl’s legal maneuvering has allowed
criminal statutes of limitations to expire, to the detriment of THA, a division of the City of Taylor. THA
has seen no favorable progress on the THA civil litigation. Ted Hejl’s legal advice has sustained the
loss of $ millions to the City. A loss which continues to increase with time.

THA is a division of the City of Taylor and has paid more than $200,000 in civil legal costs, at Ted
Hejl’s direction, for crimes committed against THA. Ted Hejl, as Taylor City Attorney, harmfully and
knowingly failed to act in the City’s interest. Ted Hejl has caused the City to lose multi-millions $ from
housing programs the Texas Legislature and Taylor citizens deemed essential to the community. The
losses continue. Ted Hejl has blatantly violated the Texas State Bar Ethics code. As Taylor City
Attorney, Ted Hejl has materially supported corruption and presents a continuing corruption threat to
Taylor law and order.

The Taylor Mayor, Brandt Rydell, is a lawyer and has been aware of all the information in this
document for more than the last three years. Mayor Rydell brings discredit to the legal profession and
violates his oaths and ethics by hiding and ignoring such crimes to benefit City Attorney Ted Hejl, Mr.
Steven Shorts, and LBCWICD President Mr. Ed Komandosky. (Most Taylor taxpayers don’t realize the
LBCWICD collects a monthly utility bill “Drainage Fee,” $2.00, that goes under Mr. Komandosky’s

Taylor Mayor Brandt Rydell, Councilmen Dwayne Ariola, Mitchell Drummond, and Gerald
Anderson, and State Representative James Talarico, are all sworn elected officials representing Taylor
citizens. Each swearing to defend our laws and uphold our principles. They have all been made aware                                                                                                                       and have all refused to take any action, or discuss any part of the THA crimes, and the corruption it
signals. They have become part of it. Mr. Jose Orta, current candidate for Wilco, Precinct 4 County
Commissioner, has been made aware, since 2014. State Rep. Talarico and Mr. Jose Orta, both claim
“high moral standards.” But, both conveniently “look the other way,” obviously for votes they believe
influential Rydell, Hejl, Komandosky, and “friends,” can deliver.

All the avoidance and denial behavior is clearly designed to protect political friends who are part
of stealing public assets and whose behavior should be questioned by citizens and law enforcement as
a corruption racket. It is all about a lot of money, the continuing theft of cash flow that was intended
to help elderly, disabled, and unfortunate citizens with housing programs, and thereby protect and
improve the community.

It is noteworthy that the Taylor Housing Authority no longer lists the members of the THA Board
of Commissioners on it’s website. Mr. Don Hill, a former Taylor Mayor, former President and current
member of the THA Board, hired Ted Hejl into the Taylor City Attorney position in 1998 when Hill was
Mayor. Mr. Hill was President of the THA board during much of this controversy. Mr. Jose Orta,
currently a candidate for Wilco Precinct 4 County Commissioner, was campaign manager for Mr. Hill’s
last Taylor City Council campaign.

 Taylor Councilman Robert Garcia is aware and appears concerned about THA and the continuing
corruption involving THA.


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