Irving City Manager Faces Ethics Questions

Affidavit accuses city manager of receiving luxury suite tickets from city contractor

An affidavit obtained by NBC 5 is raising new questions about the way Irving City Manager Tommy Gonzalez does business.

The affidavit accuses Gonzalez of receiving luxury suite tickets for events at the American Airlines Center from a contractor for the city of Irving.

The sworn affidavit says the events include concerts, the circus and Dallas Stars and several Dallas Mavericks games.

Anthony Bond, an Irving activist who also works as a consultant for private firms, said he thought he was helping kids when he delivered tickets to Gonzalez as a go-between from Martin Burrell, who was a minority and women business enterprise consultant for Irving.

Bond said Gonzalez told him the tickets were for the YMCA team that Gonzalez coaches.

"Most of the kids at the YMCA were low-income kids, so I would think that they would never have an opportunity, especially to go and sit in a suite at a Mavs game," Bond said.

Bond said he delivered sets of 18 suite tickets, along with parking passes, between 10 and 12 times over the past five years to Gonzalez when Gonzalez requested them.

Bond said he delivered the first set to Gonzalez at Irving City Hall but then placed all the others under the doormat at Gonzalez' Irving home.

Bond understood Gonzalez may have attended some of the events with his own kids, too.

Gonzalez is one of the highest-paid public officials in North Texas, with salary and benefits totaling more than $400,000 a year.

Dallas Mavericks spokeswoman Gina Calvert said suites with 18 seats and four parking passes have sold as a package for $3,750 per game in the last several years.

"Multiply it by 10 times, it comes out to be a lot of money," Bond said. "I never thought about it that way."

Bond said the tickets he received from Burrell had a zero dollar value marked on their face.

Bond is a consultant for Burrell, and Burrell was a consultant for the American Airlines Center.

Burrell confirmed by phone that he arranged unsold tickets from the AAC for nonprofit groups and that Bond delivered tickets to Gonzalez.

But Burrell said it was not a quid pro quo with Gonzalez.

"We never had any kind of relationship like that," he said. "I wasn't sure who was using those seats."

Bond is also a consultant for the Las Colinas Group, which planned to build an entertainment center beside the Irving Convention Center.

The Las Colinas Group sued the city of Irving last month after the city canceled its deal with Las Colinas Group for the project.

The city said in court documents that the lawsuit is without merit.

Bond's sworn affidavit was taken for that lawsuit.

"All I was doing was being a conduit between two friends and then here in the last couple of weeks I find myself thrust into the middle of this big lawsuit," Bond said.

NBC 5 emailed a copy of Bond's affidavit to Burrell.

Burrell replied that the document includes factual inaccuracies but did not explain.

NBC 5 left telephone messages for Gonzalez at his office and with city spokeswoman Susan Rose.

A copy of the affidavit was also emailed to Rose for Gonzalez. A reply from Rose said: "We can not vouch for the authenticity of the document."

Gonzalez did not respond.

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