Today’s post will delve into an historical event with some important significance.   I have heard about this story for some time and until yesterday it was just a story.  A friend of mine sent me 7 attachments in an email that painted a picture of potential conflict of interest and impropriety.  But that is for the Texas Ethics Commission to decide.

January 2015, Everett Michael Skipper aka Mike Edwards and his company Lydia Ann Channel Group, aka Lydia Ann Channel Moorings, aka Lydia Ann Channel Moorings, LLC (LACM).  Secured a lease from the GLO for roughly a mile of the west side of Saint Jose Island at the intersection of the Lydia Ann Channel, the Shrimp Boat Channel and the Corpus Christi Ship Channel.  Mired in controversy almost from the start over accusations of fast tracking by the Army Corp of Engineers, the GLO and a handful of other state agencies with regulatory authority; it was shortly discovered that its front man and part owner Mike Edwards was in fact Everett Michael Skipper who was a felon.1    Mike Edwards he claimed, was his DJ name.2   A group of citizens from Port Aransas sued LACM and the Corp.  The citizens group lost the suit and the Corp issued the permit.  Concrete moorings were installed almost immediately.3

Jump ahead a few months.  LACM approaches the Aransas County Navigation District to lease the west side of Lydia Ann Channel to “prevent rogue barges” from mooring there and avoiding paying fees to LACM.  July 6th, 2015 LACM is granted a lease from the District on 100 +/- acres on the west side of Lydia Ann Channel just south of the Lydia Ann lighthouse.  The District approves the lease for 5 years for a fee of $3000 per month plus a 50% share in any company profits that exceed the $3000 lease.  The lease is voted on and approved by the Commissioners with Captain Tommy Moore abstaining because he has business dealings with the company.4   The lease was signed by LACM until August 15th, 2015 and by the District 2 days later on August 17th 2016.

Fast forward to December 20, 2020.  The District approved a 5-year extension to the 2015 lease at a reduced rate of $1500 per month.  They also took out the split revenue requirement. 5 The lease had expired 4 months earlier.  Chairman Vlasek moved to approve the lease extension with Commissioner

Dieckow seconding.  All voted aye, including Tommy Moore.  Moore was silent on his “business dealings” with LACM this time around.

 

1 2 Texas Observer January 5, 2017

3    Port A South Jetty July 16, 2015

4    Rockport Pilot July 15, 2015

5     ACND minutes of Dec. 7, 2020