Another Texas police officer fled the city while the state was paralyzed by severe winter weather, it emerged this week.
Republican State Representative Gary Gates is under fire after he flew his private jet to Orlando, Florida, on Wednesday as his constituents in Fort Bend County struggled without water and power, the Houston Chronicle reported.
“It really would have been nice to have a state representative helping on the ground, working in a warming center, packing food, etc. instead of (flying) immediately in a private plane when the going got tough, ”Brian Walz, one of Gates’s constituents, told the newspaper. “My neighbors couldn’t do that when their pipe burst.”
Gates claimed the pipes burst at his home as well, and 30 percent of his home was flooded, insisting to the outlet that the excursion was necessary because of his sick wife and daughter with special needs.
“My wife is still recovering from an illness that she has been struggling with for two weeks, and my adult daughter’s room, who is mentally disabled and still lives with us, was flooded,” Gates told the newspaper.
But Fort Bend Star reporter Stefan Modrich said on Twitter that Gates’ chief of staff told him that the representative was on a business trip to Florida, meeting with a “major supplier.”
Gates, who owns several apartment buildings in Houston, told the Chronicle that he met with a supplier while he was in Florida, but that it was only because he was already there.
He insisted that he was able to monitor the Lonestar state power outage crisis from Florida.
The criticism comes after the revelation that Senator Ted Cruz flew to Cancun, Mexico, with his family while much of the state remained without power and water problems increased.
He returned the next day after being reprimanded for missing the city while the state was in crisis, later admitting the trip was a mistake.