Rusty Hardin, who won a sizable settlement for a former college chancellor who was fired after she blew the whistle on corruption, was quoted in a Houston Chronicle story about a related corruption case at the school.
Mr. Hardin represented Renee Byas, who alerted the FBI to possible kickbacks involving trustees of Houston Community College where she was chancellor. Recently, one of those trustees wound up pleading guilty to federal bribery charges.
The Chronicle reported on July 11, 2017, that one of those allegedly extorted by the trustee was Karun Sreerama, a former contractor who now is director of Public Works for the city of Houston.
In the article, headlined “City official allegedly made unlawful payments to indicted HCC trustee,” Mr. Hardin recalled references to Mr. Sreerama. When Ms. Byas was chancellor, “Several different board members at different times encouraged her to try to get him (Sreerama) a project because he was always so nice to them.”
The article noted that Ms. Byas sued HCC in 2014 for wrongful termination after the trustees learned of her whistleblowing to the FBI about their possible misuse of bond money and efforts to steer business to friends and allies.
That lawsuit, filed by Mr. Hardin, is what led to the large settlement for Ms. Byas, along with a letter of recommendation for her from HCC.