Despite earlier denials that controversial pro-Katy ISD bond issue telephone calls were made through an area real estate office, a real estate broker from that firm has now come forward and admitted he coordinated the automated call effort.
Real estate broker George Huntoon, who works for RE/MAX Westside, has said he coordinated the phone effort and even recruited a neighbor he identified as Marie Beckley to record the message.
Repeated efforts by InstantNewsKaty to reach Huntoon have been unsuccessful; however, he told another Katy media outlet that he wrote the script, had Beckley record the message and gave the company making the calls his office telephone number to appear on the caller ID.
Huntoon also said he was doing the work through a pro-bond group called the “Katy’s Best Committee.” He said the committee told him which company to use for the telephone effort and supplied him with the list of numbers to be called.
Huntoon did not say who supplied the list of numbers or how that list was obtained.
He also said his company was unaware of the effort and “kind of got suckered into it.”
Although Huntoon said the effort was coordinated by a group called “Katy’s Best Committee,” he also has links to the Team Katy political action committee. The PAC’s most recent campaign finance report showed a George Huntoon of 19910 Erika Way Drive in Katy being paid $555 for the delivery of Team Katy door hangers.
It is unclear what relationship, if any, Katy’s Best Committee has with Team Katy.
Huntoon also spoke during the public comments portion of this week’s Katy ISD school board meeting, promoting the bond issue and urging others to vote in favor of the measure.
Earlier in the day, the receptionist at RE/MAX Westside denied any involvement with the automated calls, saying the company had been the victim of telephone hacking and had not authorized anyone to make calls from their system.
“This was definitely not done with our permission; we were victims of telephone hacking,” she said. “Evidently, someone hacked into our phone system after hours and did this without our knowledge.”