Four city employees were accused of using the Alamodome suites to benefit themselves, family and friends. It’s our tip our News 4 WOAI Trouble Shooters received a few months ago – And have since investigated and confirmed the "suite deal" they had in place.
Monday night we told you about the deal Marc Solis, Alamodome General Manager, had with vendors of the Alamodome. He’d give Aramark and The RK Group free suites and they’d hook him up with free food, beverages and alcohol.
But we’ve also uncovered Marc Solis allegedly had a similar deal going on with the Grand Hyatt Hotel.
"The general manager at the Alamodome is responsible for the administration the entire operation, including suites. So, if there is a request to entertain someone in the suite or offer it complimentary it needs to go through him,” Michael Sawaya, Director of Convention, Sports and Entertainment, explained.
Marc Solis' job is to run the Alamodome. But our investigation uncovered Solis has been using these suites, city owned property, to barter with local businesses.
After digging through hundreds of emails, we found several between Solis and two Grand Hyatt Hotel employees. The emails go as far back as December 2010. In them Solis is setting up and confirming hotel reservations for himself, other city employees, and friends and family for New Year’s Eve.
News 4 WOAI’s Mireya Villarreal got a hold of a recorded conversation between Marc Solis and a city investigator. Initially, he tried to say he never stayed at the Grand Hyatt on New Year's Eve.
Investigator: Did you stay the night there?
Marc Solis: I didn't stay the night there.
Investigator: You did not?
Marc Solis: We went home.
But several questions later Solis changes his tune.
Marc Solis: God, I don't remember. Maybe so Richard. But I don't remember. I really don't remember.
Then the city confronts him an email from the Grand Hyatt that confirms Solis’ reservation for two free suites. One of the suites was under his name and the other was for former Assistant Director of Convention, Sports and Entertainment Jim Mery.
Investigator: Did you pay for the suite?
Marc Solis: No.
Marc Solis: I… we do… you know... Well, we paid for the other rooms, I know that.
Investigator: Yea, but you didn't pay for yours.
Marc Solis: Right.
So the suite exchange goes like this: Marc gives his Grand Hyatt contact a free Alamodome suite to the Monster Truck Jam in January. In return he gets free suites for himself and other city employees on one of the busiest and most expensive nights of the year.