The emails between two people at the center of a no-bid state contract scandal are a window on how cozy associations can meld into influence — misused to the public’s detriment. An Express-News article by Brian M. Rosenthal of the Hearst Austin Bureau told of more than 150 emails between Irene Williams, the CEO of 21CT, and Stanley Stewart, former Texas Health and Human Services Commission deputy chief of staff. Stewart said the jury is out on whether Williams’ firm was effective, though the state has said the project did not result in any significant recovery of Medicaid money. Jim Clancy, former chairman and current member of the Texas Ethics Commission, said,“The people of Texas want officials to make decisions based on what is in the best interests of the public and not in the best interests of friends.”
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