Former HCC trustee sentenced to 70 months in prison for taking bribes



Former Houston Community College trustee Chris Oliver will spend nearly six years in federal prison for taking bribes in his position as a trustee.

A federal judge sentenced Oliver on Monday to 70 months in prison, followed by a year of supervised release.

"What's going on at HCC?" said Judge Vanessa Gilmore, asking if the college was "just a cesspool."

Oliver was accused of taking nearly $90,000 in bribes to influence his service as an HCC trustee, according to court records. Some of that came in the form of Visa gift cards, the records said.

Oliver pleaded guilty to only one of two counts on which he was indicted. In that count, federal prosecutors allege he accepted $12,000 in bribes.

That came from former Houston Public Works director Karun Sreerama, who was dismissed from his post after the case came to light. Sreerama insists he was cooperating with the FBI at the time.

In court Monday, Gilmore detailed at least three other people were involved in bribing Oliver for nearly a quarter of a million dollars. Oliver said in court that over time, the temptations became too much and he eventually gave in, adding he should have called it quits in 2011.

Outside court, when asked if he felt remorse or was sorry, Oliver's attorney said he had no comment.

*From Community Impact Newspaper partner ABC 13.


MOST RECENT

METRONext is the agency’s $3.5 billion bond approved by voters in November 2019, which aims to ease traffic congestion, add expansion to the METRO, and make accessibility and safety upgrades.
(Shawn Arrajj/Community Impact Newspaper)
METRO Board approves $1.3 billion budget, discusses METRONext projects

The METRO board of directors met Sept. 21 to give an overview of the drafted budget as well as to receive public comments. It was unanimously approved at the Sept. 23 board meeting.

Montgomery County Food Bank volunteers take donations. (Courtesy Montgomery County Food Bank)
Montgomery County Food Bank receives grant following February's winter storm

After the freeze put a strain on food bank operations, the United Way of Greater Houston awarded a grant worth over $116,000 to the Montgomery County Food Bank.

The Texas Secretary of State's office has launched an audit of 2020 election results in four of Texas’ largest counties: Harris, Dallas, Tarrant and Collin. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Texas Secretary of State's office announces audit of 2020 election results in Dallas, Collin, Tarrant and Harris counties

In a statement released Sept. 23, the office said it anticipates the state Legislature will fund the process.

Kyle City Council voted 6-1 and approved the new citywide trail master plan that will utilize 2020 bond election funds for trails that will help connect Austin to San Antonio. (Courtesy Pexels)
CI Nation roundup: Perfect Game coming to Cedar Park; Kyle City Council approves trail master plan to connect Austin to San Antonio and more top stories

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Sept. 24.

Big League Dreams will reopen in December with updated turf, seating, nets, fencing, graphics and other upgrades. (Courtesy city of League City)
Big League Dreams to reopen in League City; New Caney ISD officials address student possession of a gun, and more top stories from Greater Houston

Read the most popular business and community news from the past week from the Greater Houston area.

Lone Star College System was awarded funding from Metallica's All Within My Hands Foundation for the third year in a row. (Andrew Christman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Lone Star College System receives funding from Metallica foundation for technical training

Lone Star College System has received around $225,000 over the past three years from the band's nonprofit foundation.

Comcast will award $1 million to small businesses owned by people of color in Fort Bend and Harris counties (Courtesy Fotolia)
Comcast Rise Investment Fund to award small business grants in Harris, Fort Bend counties

Comcast will award $1 million to small businesses owned by people of color in Fort Bend and Harris counties.

Several parents of New Caney ISD students spoke at the district's Sept. 20 board meetings about recent allegations that a student brought a firearm to Porter High School's Sept. 18 homecoming dance. NCISD Superintendent Matt Calvert stressed that no gunshots were fired at the event, and that the district is investigating the allegations. (Wesley Gardner/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI Nation roundup: Round Rock ISD trustees considered for censuring; New Caney ISD addresses allegations of student with gun at campus event and more top stories

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Sept. 23.

According to the business's website, the new Jiffy Lube Multicare location offers a variety of vehicle maintenance services, including oil changes, brakes, batteries and tire services, among others. (Courtesy Jiffy Lube)
Jiffy Lube to celebrate grand opening in Atascocita with 50 free oil changes Sept. 24-25

Jiffy Lube will be donating proceeds from all paid automotive services during the two-day event to the Atascocita High School JROTC program, the Atascocita High School Sports Booster Club and the Atascocita Fire Department. 

Six of the Lake Houston-area’s seven ZIP codes experienced a decrease in the number of homes sold in July as compared to July 2020, while ZIP code 77396 experienced an increase. (Courtesy Pexels)
See how the Lake Houston-area real estate market fared in July 2021

Six of the Lake Houston-area’s seven ZIP codes experienced a decrease in the number of homes sold in July as compared to July 2020, while ZIP code 77396 experienced an increase.

Learn the art of fire making, leather works and small-plot gardening at a Pioneer Lifestyle event from 1-5 p.m. Sept. 25 at Jesse H. Jones Park. (Courtesy of Harris County Precinct 4)
Experience pioneer life, go stargazing: 12 things to do in the Lake Houston area throughout September, October

Here are a few events and things to do in the Lake Houston area throughout the months of September and October.

Houston resident Marissa Hanson spoke on keeping tax rates low during the Harris County Commissioners Court public hearing on Sept. 21. (Emily Lincke/Community Impact Newspaper)
Harris County Commissioners propose tax cuts at cost of Harris Health System funding

On average, Harris County homeowners may see lower tax rates in the next year, but it will come at the cost of $17 million in funding for the county’s hospital district, according to Harris County Administrator David Berry.