Ex-congressman secured earmark for defunct resort while in office - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Ex-congressman secured earmark for defunct resort while in office

Staff Report
The Associated Press

LAJITAS, Texas (AP) - The Texas Transportation Department is sitting on nearly 1.2 million dollars in federal funds the state may never be able to spend.

The Associated Press reports the funding involves an earmark from a now-former congressman who wanted to help a contributor move a road through a golf resort he belonged to.

Former Congressman Henry Bonilla steered the money to Austin in 2005 to move a stretch of highway that cuts directly through a privately owned border town-turned-exclusive resort.

But the resort went bankrupt and the "Lajitas Relief Route" earmark, buried in a massive highway spending bill, can't be used for anything else.

AP reports the owner of the resort, Stephen Smith, donated $2,500 to Bonilla's campaigns, and Bonilla owned a membership in the resort - valued as high as $75,000.

A call to Smith's cell phone couldn't go through. A call to his bankruptcy attorney, Mark Petrocchi, was not immediately returned.

Several attempts to reach Bonilla through his campaign treasurer were unsuccessful.

  • NewsMore>>

  • Person hospitalized after shooting in Arnett Benson area

    Person hospitalized after shooting in Arnett Benson area

    Saturday, June 23 2018 10:46 PM EDT2018-06-24 02:46:43 GMT
    A person was hospitalized after shooting near 3rd Street and Detroit Avenue (Source: Eli Fierro, KCBD)A person was hospitalized after shooting near 3rd Street and Detroit Avenue (Source: Eli Fierro, KCBD)

    A shooting just after 3 p.m. Saturday near 3rd Street and Detroit Avenue has left one person in the hospital at University Medical Center.

    A shooting just after 3 p.m. Saturday near 3rd Street and Detroit Avenue has left one person in the hospital at University Medical Center.

  • Saudi women in driver's seat as longstanding ban is lifted

    Saudi women in driver's seat as longstanding ban is lifted

    Sunday, June 24 2018 4:24 AM EDT2018-06-24 08:24:57 GMT
    Sunday, June 24 2018 4:37 PM EDT2018-06-24 20:37:37 GMT
    (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty). Hessah al-Ajaji drivers her car down the capital's busy Tahlia Street after midnight for the first time in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Sunday, June 24, 2018. Saudi women are in the driver's seat for the first time in their countr...(AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty). Hessah al-Ajaji drivers her car down the capital's busy Tahlia Street after midnight for the first time in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Sunday, June 24, 2018. Saudi women are in the driver's seat for the first time in their countr...

    Saudi women steered their way through busy streets for the first time just minutes after the world's last remaining ban on women driving was lifted.

    Saudi women steered their way through busy streets for the first time just minutes after the world's last remaining ban on women driving was lifted.

  • Odessa fire department responding to fire near Jackson Ave., 15th St.

    Odessa fire department responding to fire near Jackson Ave., 15th St.

    (Source: Haleigh Drybread / Facebook)(Source: Haleigh Drybread / Facebook)
    (Source: Haleigh Drybread / Facebook)(Source: Haleigh Drybread / Facebook)

    Odessa police and fire department are responding to a structure fire at the 1400 block of N. Jackson Ave.

    Odessa police and fire department are responding to a structure fire at the 1400 block of N. Jackson Ave.

Powered by Frankly