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  • Pleaded guilty in June to a misdemeanor charge of tampering with a governmental record
  • Prohibits him from working on any political campaigns during his one-year probation
  • Did not disqualify him from seeking a second six-year term.



September 09, 2007

Jay Aiyer, who pleaded guilty in June to a misdemeanor charge of tampering with a governmental record, will not seek another term on Houston Community College's governing board.

The decision brought an abrupt halt to a once-promising political career for Aiyer, 38, a lawyer and former chief of staff for former Mayor Lee Brown. He has served as an HCC trustee since 2001.

Aiyer said Friday that his plea did not play a role in the decision to leave office. The agreement prohibits him from working on any political campaigns during his one-year probation, but it did not disqualify him from seeking a second six-year term.

"It's a good time to move on," Aiyer said. "I've been on the board for nearly seven years, and I'm ready to pass the baton."

Three newcomers will vie to represent his district, which stretches from southwest Houston to Missouri City. The November ballot includes businesswoman Neeta Sane, a former candidate for Fort Bend County treasurer; Manual Barrera Jr., a former senior Houston City Council aide who now hears complaints from people about parking and red-light tickets for the city; and Lois Davis.

Incumbent trustee Yolanda Navarro Flores will face two challengers: Daniel Barretto and Kevin Hoffman, who is president of his North Houston neighborhood council. He is not the same Kevin Hoffman who serves on the Houston Independent School District's board and oversees facilities for Harris County.

Trustees Bruce Austin and Mills Worsham are running unopposed.

Note: This article is from the Houston Chronicle.

Felony charge filed against Jay Aiyer
It pains me greatly to see stories like this.

Houston Community College Trustee and one-time City Council candidate Jay Aiyer is facing a charge of tampering with a governmental record, a felony that could cost him his law license, authorities said Monday.

The Harris County District Attorney's Office accused Aiyer of committing the offense in March 2005, by "unlawfully removing, destroying, and concealing, the original filing" of a portion of his campaign finance report and substituting it with another document.

The charges were filed in the 184th criminal court last Thursday. Aiyer posted a $2,000 bond the following day.

Aiyer, reached Monday, said he could not talk about the charges in detail.

"We will be able to work this thing out in a couple of days," he said. "I think it's going to be resolved."

I consider Jay to be a friend, so I hope the charges against him are proven to be unfounded. We'll see what happens.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on June 26, 2007 to Scandalized!


June 8 - 14, 2005
by Ed Wendt
Public Inquest

A Houston Community College System (HCCS) Trustee looking to make a big political move up is under the gun over questionable campaign spending.

Businesswoman Sue Lovell has raised some damning questions about Jay Aiyer’s reports from his HCCS campaign fund, including unexplained payments to himself.

Lovell and Aiyer are both running for Houston City Council, At Large, Position Two. When Lovell requested Aiyer’s campaign finance reports from the HCCS General Counsel, the official repository for these documents, she found some puzzling entries.

One was a $5,000 payment to Aiyer on September 13, 2004, listed as the repayment of a loan. Yet nowhere in his reports was a loan from Aiyer to his campaign listed. Also listed was a $1,000 “reimbursement” to Aiyer on May 19, 2004; nowhere were reimbursable expenses listed. Two expenditures of $1,000 and $735.02 on December 6, 2004, were left blank; no payee was listed. The report also showed numerous payments to credit card companies listed as “campaign expenses.” State law requires that those expenses be listed separately to ensure that all expenditures are legal.

Here is where things get really bad for Aiyer. When Lovell questioned the credit card expenditures and other suspicious payments, she received an e-mail from Aiyer’s campaign manager on March 31, 2005, saying that the report she had received from the General Counsel was “an erroneous report that was never filed.” The e-mail said the correct report was at the HCCS Board Services Office and “was filed at the time of when it was due.” The campaign manager offered to provide a copy of the “correct report.”

Lovell took him up on the offer. The next day, a secretary in the HCCS Board Services Department faxed to Lovell’s campaign, “at the request of Trustee Jay K. Aiyer,” a copy of “his 2004 Candidate/Officeholder Report.”

This report contained a correction affidavit which was notarized the day before that listed two corrections: $2,685 to Walden and Associates and $735.02 to Leedy Graphics. But attached to it was what was purported to be the same campaign finance report Lovell had received from the General Counsel. However, it was obvious that this was a different document: even though the notarized cover page was the same, the form listing expenses was different from the other one and the type face used to list donations and expenditures was different.

Previously unreported payments were listed including $2,753.72 to Best Buy for a computer system, hundreds of dollars to T-Mobile for cell phone service, and payments to two consultants: $5,000 to Lone Star Strategies on Oct. 15, 2004, and $2,500 to Keir Murray on Oct. 17, 2004.

And the loan repayment and reimbursement to Aiyer had mysteriously disappeared.

Just to be sure, Lovell again contacted the HCCS General Counsel about this new document. The Counsel responded what he had sent were the reports on file. That means the report faxed by the Board Services secretary is not official.

Aiyer is blaming someone else. He told Doug Miller of Channel 11 that “a campaign worker” misunderstood routine bank transfers and that there were “erroneous drafts of his campaign finance report that he never intended to file.” The reports were signed by Aiyer, who swore that the reports were “true and correct.” Miller confirmed that the reports faxed to Lovell by the General Counsel are the only ones in Aiyer’s official file.

A number of questions need to be answered:

Why did Aiyer pay himself $5,000 for a loan that apparently was not made?

Why did Aiyer pay himself $1,000 for expenses that apparently were not made?

Why does Aiyer’s campaign manager call the report from the General Counsel, the official repository for campaign reports, a “report that was never filed” while the one from the Board Services Office is not in the official file?

Why did Aiyer put the Houston Community College System at risk by having an employee fax an apparently falsified report to Lovell?

Just what did Aiyer spend his campaign funds on?

Aiyer should know about the need for filing correct campaign finance reports. As treasurer for Chris Bell in his congressional primary race against Al Green, Aiyer sent a complaint to the U.S. House questioning Green’s report.

Lovell wants to know how Aiyer, the HCCS Trustee, can be trusted as a City Councilmember when he can’t be trusted to come clean about his campaign finances. Sources:

NRI Jay Aiyer, loses Houston City Council

Houston, December 12, 2005
NRI press

NRI, UK born, Jay Aiyer, 36, attorney, Democrat lost to his opponent Sue Lovell by taking 17, 653 or 49.1 per cent. 18,232 votes or 50.9 percent of the vote compared to Sue Lovell's. He was defeated by a mere 579 votes in the polls on Sunday for Houston City Council at-large Position 2

"I felt we ran a good race," Aiyer said, "We both share some of the same issues,"

Aiyer said he will continue working to preserve and improve public safety, repair aging infrastructure, and expand the city's park space.


NRI, Jay Aiyer running for Houston city council

Houston (Texas), June 24, 2005

NRI, (Indian American) Jay Aiyer believes his non-partisan image will get him elected as the Houston City Councilman-at-large.

Although a Democrat, the 36-year-old is running on a non-partisan platform in a constituency that is home to an ethnically diverse population of 1.8 million.

"I have got tremendous bipartisan support," Aiyer told IANS. This despite the fact that he has been in politics a long time and almost always on the Democratic side of a ticket, whether it was as chief of staff for former Houston mayor Lee Brown, or as legislative aide to state Senator Rodney Ellis, or as treasurer for Congressman Chris Bell.

"The race I am running is non-partisan and I am very committed to running that way," he emphasised.

Always interested in public service, Aiyer said he felt it was time to do something for Houston's citizenry. He has been on the school board of the Houston Community College System since 2001.

"My success politically has been to be able to reach out. So diversity is my strength," he contended.

"I understand government and I've worked in the private sector," he noted. He said he had been endorsed by former mayors Lee Brown and Bob Lanier as well as the Houston Chamber of Commerce.

NRI Aiyer will face two opponents Nov 8 in an open primary. If he gets 50 percent or more of the vote, he is in. But if none of the candidates are able to secure that, all three will go into a runoff election in December.

"This is a real entrepreneurial city which sets it apart from other ones," says Aiyer. "It's not only growing but changing in its makeup. People come here from everywhere else looking for opportunity. There's a real spirit of optimism," he enthused about a city he obviously loves.

He said he has worked with and got the support of Houston's Indian American Political Action Committee, set up 10 years ago, and that he was hoping to reach out to Indian Americans around the country.

"People have to understand there's value in supporting a person from the community even though they may not be in your district."

The London-born Aiyer who came to the US with his parents when he was eight is married to Nirja Sharma Aiyer, a healthcare attorney, and the couple has two children - three-year-old Meera and seven-year-old Naveen.

A graduate of the South Texas College of Law, Aiyer has a bachelors degree from the University of Texas at Austin in government and economics, and a masters degree from the L.B.J. School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas.

An attorney by training, he has a private practice specialising in immigration and public law. He was previously an attorney with the firm of Chamberlain, Hrdlicka, Williams, White and Martin, and worked as a senior management consultant for Deloitte and Touche

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UK born, Jay Aiyer, attorney running for Houston city council

  • An attorney, private practice specialising in immigration and public law
  • Married to Nirja Sharma Aiyer, a healthcare attorney