Search warrants reveal new details in Harris County COVID contract scandal

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Houston - Search warrants filed today reveal more details about the Elevate Strategies contract with Harris County for what was to be a COVID-19 vaccine outreach program.

In August 2021, FOX 26 was the first to question an $11 million COVID-19 communication contract steered by Hidalgo's Chief of Staff and two others to a little-known, one-woman firm with few resources and deep connections to Democratic campaign operatives.

A subsequent, five-month grand jury probe of the alleged "bid-rigging" resulted in felony charges against all three Hidalgo insiders.

TEXAS DPS continues investigating former Harris County employees Aaron Dunn, Wallis Nader, and Alex Triantaphyllis. Today’s warrants were ordered to collect evidence of offenses including

  • Tampering with Evidence

  • Tampering with Government Records

  • Misuse of Official Information

<div>Aaron Dunn (L), Alex Triantaphyllis (C), and Wallis Nader (R) are facing felony criminal indictments over a controversial multimillion-dollar contract.</div>
Aaron Dunn (L), Alex Triantaphyllis (C), and Wallis Nader (R) are facing felony criminal indictments over a controversial multimillion-dollar contract.

During the continuing investigation, Texas DPS discovered that numerous documents and communications that were ordered to be produced by the Grand Jury had been concealed and made unavailable during the earlier Grand Jury proceedings. Some of the concealed evidence includes"

  • Personal phones used by Harris County Judge’s office employees

  • Draft documents showing Judge Lina Hidalgo personally edited the scope of the Targeted Vaccine Outreach project. The scope of the work was shared with the owner of Elevate Strategies more than 2 weeks before the project was publicly announced.

  • What’s App and SMS messages show Judge Lina Hidalgo and her staff believed that the majority of the Harris County Commissioners Court were going to vote against funding the "Targeted Community Vaccine Outreach" project and used the County Judge’s Emergency authorization powers to bypass the voting process and award $10,973,000 to Elevate Strategies

  • What’s app messages were deleted after the initiation of the Grand Jury investigation.


- August 17, 2021   Serious questions emerge around $11 million Harris County COVID-19 contract

- August 29, 2021  Contract controversy raises voices in County Commissioners Court- What's Your Point?

- September 8, 2021  Harris County Judge to seek cancelation of controversial $11M contract 

- September 14, 2021 Harris County Commissioners unanimously vote to cancel controversial $11m contract 

- November 16, 2021  Controversial contract triggers subpoenas aimed at Harris County leaders

- March 11, 2022 Texas Rangers execute search warrant for information about controversial Harris Co. contract

- March 22, 2022 Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo grilled following "bid rigging" allegations

- April 11, 2022 3 Harris County Judge staffers named in felony indictments

-May 19, 2022  Harris Co. DA Kim Ogg warns Judge Lina Hidalgo about misstatements, hiding evidence