Mayor Turner finally takes questions about the $95k intern, Marvin Agumagu, and of course he lies again.
To summarize, he claims he encouraged others, not just Agumagu, to apply for the internship that 1) wasn’t even publicly posted and 2) only had one applicant.
He also claims he never told Agumagu to email Andy Icken, the city's chief development officer even though Agumagu wrote to Icken “Per Mayor Turner's request, I am sending you my resume for your review".
As KPRC-TV’s Mario Diaz reports:
“It all started with an email from Sept. 12, 2018. The email was sent by Agumagu to the city's chief development officer, Andy Icken. Agumagu wrote, "Per Mayor Turner's request, I am sending you my resume for your review."
Diaz asked the mayor yesterday, “Did you make a request of Marvin Agumagu to email Andy Icken?”
Turner said, “Like I said, if he was interested in the position, he certainly should apply.”Diaz quickly followed up with the same question again. "Did you make a request for him, sir?"
Turner then admitted, “I didn't make a request, but if he was interested in the position, he certainly should apply and that is the statement I made to him."
Diaz further pressed Turner saying ”you indicated earlier that you did not make a request of Mr. Agumagu to send that email, he states that you did, I need clarity here, sir. Are you saying that Mr. Agumagu is not being truthful in that email?"
Turner responded, “What I am saying to you, Mario, and I try to do it in the most respectful way that I can, I would say to Marvin, and quite frankly, I have never referred to him by his last name, (Mary Benton says, ‘Marvin from Nigeria is what you called him') so let me just be honest with you, but if. ... if he was, what I said (is), 'If you are interested in the position, please apply.' And I have said that to others. 'If you are interested in a position, please apply.'"
Reporter Diaz notes, “here is the problem with Turner’s responses. At the time Agumagu sent that email to Icken, there was no executive internship at the airport to apply for.It did not exist."
After Icken received the email, he forwarded it to Houston Airport Director Mario Diaz and included the question, "Could you develop a position?"It is only from there that the publicly funded internship was developed, an internship created solely for Agumagu. Airport Director Diaz also used a clause in the city charter to keep the position off the radar. It was never posted, and no one else was given the opportunity to apply.Turner then signed off on the sweetheart deal, making it official.
Turner said he had nothing to do with the program’s design, “let me just say this to you, Mario, which I have said before, and let me say to all of you, the program in question was not designed by me.”
Diaz asked, “How was this position not specifically created for Marvin, sir?”
Turner says “let me just, I just want to quickly answer. I don't like misinformation. It is not created for him because it was a position created for him by the airport."