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Public Integrity Unit investigating former West Lake Hills city planner

Wednesday, June 25, 2014 by Jo Clifton

The Travis County District Attorney’s Public Integrity Unit has opened an investigation into allegations surrounding a former city planner for West Lake Hills who is now in private practice as an architect.

 

Assistant District Attorney Greg Cox confirmed the inquiry Tuesday but said he could not offer any details of an ongoing investigation.

 

Architect and planner Davin Fillpot, who is also a former member of the West Lake Hills City Council, is at the center of the investigation into whether he used his position to gain information that helped a private client. That client, Keller Capital, is now seeking several variances in order to build a subdivision at 806 Redbud Trail.

 

Chris Gunter, who lives adjacent to the canyon-like property Keller wants to develop, filed an official complaint about Fillpot with the city. In that complaint, he alleged that the relationship between Keller Capital and Fillpot violates the city’s code of ethics, and may involve illegal behavior. He has emails obtained through the Public Information Act that seem to show the relationship between Fillpot and the developer began before Fillpot left the city.

 

In response to Gunter’s complaint, the city’s attorney, Alan Bojorquez, who has his own firm, asked attorney Herbert Prouty to investigate the allegations and report his conclusions to the city.

 

Bojorquez told the Monitor Tuesday that he and City Administrator Robert Wood would brief the Council at tonight’s City Council meeting. “At that time we hope to receive direction on how we should proceed,” he said. “I anticipate the City Council will ask for more information.”

 

Gunter has argued that if there was an inappropriate relationship between Fillpot and the developer, the Council should reject the developer’s request for variances. He has emails showing that another person was trying to secure the property for just one single-family home before Keller got involved.

 

But Bojorquez said he wanted to make it clear that he did not agree with Gunter on that point.

 

“From my perspective as city attorney, the complaint against Mr. Fillpot is a separate matter apart from the application for Red Bud trail…The complaint does not really have anything to do with the city’s process or state law process for considering the…application.”

 

He said when the Council, sitting as the Board of Adjustment, postponed making a ruling on the variances it was because “it was unclear which (project) he was asking the city to vote on.” (See Austin Monitor, June 23)

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