WFAA: Dallas trail safety campaign raises questions of favortism in contract

UPDATE: Read Mike Rawlings’ response.

Original item: Brett Shipp reported last night on serious allegations about the way the city and mayoral candidate Mike Rawlings handled the doling out of an ad campaign.

Long story short, the contract went to the firm Jake:Ferguson, run by two longtime friends of Rawlings.

The firm did the work for far less than what the campaign was worth, parks officials said.

But Shipp reports there are suggestions it was handed to Jake:Ferguson through Rawlings’ influence.

Council member Ron Natinsky, who is running for mayor, called for an investigation today.

“These are serious allegations made by WFAA, and a full inquiry into this matter needs to take place to determine if any laws or rules were violated. I assume all of the Mayoral candidates would agree that transparency is key,” he said.

Former police chief David Kunkle had a stronger statement.

“Based on the Brett Shipp/WFAA story, it appears that city of Dallas officials intentionally conspired to violate state purchasing laws to benefit a friend of Mike Rawlings who was President of the Parks Board at the time. Based on the WFAA story, a criminal investigation should be initiated to determine if any unlawful behavior occurred,” he said.

Robert Wilonsky is also reporting that city auditor Craig Kinton says he too wants to look into the contract.

–Rudolph Bush / Reporter

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