City employees found giving away Alamodome suites, accepting free hotel rooms
Monster truck show complaint led to investigation
An investigation into City of San Antonio employees working at the Alamodome has uncovered evidence that managers used dome suites for free, consumed alcohol on duty and accepted free hotel suites
The investigation by the city’s Office of Municipal Integrity was spurred by a complaint that Alamodome managers used dome suites for free and received free food and beverage service for a monster truck show.
Investigators found that the general manager of the Alamodome at that time, Marc Solis, did use suites at the dome for free. Solis was interviewed on videotape by OMI and was asked whether he had a suite for both Saturday and Sunday night monster truck shows.
“Probably so," Solis answered on videotape.
The investigation found Solis and Booking Services Manager Michael Flores both used Alamodome suites at no cost and concluded that these suites could have easily been sold to paying customers. The report showed Solis and Flores invited family and friends to the suites and enjoyed free food and drink, including alcohol.
Asked by investigators on video tape if he included family or friends in the suite, Flores said only relatives.
“I think my wife was there,” Flores said. “No kids."
The investigation found that two catering companies that work in the dome, RK and Aramark, provided the free food and drinks in exchange for free dome suites.
“They didn't have to pay for those, no," Solis said.
The director of sales and marketing for the Grand Hyatt also got a free suite. And the investigation showed he provided city officials, including Mark Solis and Jim Mery, free hotel suites for New Year's Eve.
Solis also asked for hotel space on the last day of NIOSA and received it.
The city investigation highlights the difference between the public and private sector. Companies often trade their assets for things that might benefit the company or its employees.
But the city said it is not OK for public employees to trade away those taxpayer owned assets for their own benefit.
"Our world, our business is a little bit different," Solis said on videotape.
Solis was suspended five days and later resigned.
Mery got a three-day suspension for accepting the hotel room. Flores got a letter of reprimand from the city for consuming alcohol at the monster truck show.
The city now has a policy regarding how Alamodome suites can be reserved and used by people other than paying customers.
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