Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Jennie Taraborelli yields fishy 'catch of the day'

Inside The Woodlands

The latest word from The Woodlands and South Montgomery County

Dropping a dime: John Q. Public tips off the media

Audgust 26, 2008

by Kimberly Stauffer
Houston Chronicle
Copyright 2008

The news business is rife with whistle-blowers, tipsters and anonymous Internet avatars ready to unveil business secrets, bad conduct and the occasional scandal. Unfortunately, not every well-written item from lil Lois Lanes that purports truth pans out.

Recently we received a series of e-mails detailing how Jennie Taraborelli, a partner in Pate Transportation Partners, a major road construction contractor, was playing hostess and taking more than a few highly placed elected officials on a free Alaskan fishing trip, a five day vacation reportedly worth $5,000.

But when asked about his cold water catch, Montgomery County Precinct 3 Commissioner Ed Chance was left out to sea. One of the named officials supposedly enjoying the hospitality of our icy northern neighbor, Chance said he had never heard of the fishing trip.

"I'm not familiar with it," he said.

Calls to Taraborelli's office yielded news the partner is traveling this week in unknown parts.

As to whether elected officials should take companies up on sponsored trips, Chance said, "I don't see anything particularly wrong with it, expect it might have a bad appearance. It shouldn't impact anyone one way or another."

What do you think of elected officials taking it easy on a company's dime? Would you ever tip off a news agency?

© 2008 Houston Chronicle:www.blogs.chron.com

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