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Patterson Calls For Investigation Into Combs' F1 Deal

Construction on the Circuit of the America's track in southeast Austin as of June 2011
Photo courtesy of Circuit of the Americas
Construction on the Circuit of the America's track in southeast Austin as of June 2011

Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson wants the Attorney General’s office to investigate whether Comptroller Susan Combs has the authority to commit taxpayer money to the Formula One races that could still come to Austin next year.  

Race organizers were hoping to get $250 million over ten years from the state’s Major Events Trust Fund.

Patterson, never one to mince words, called the deal a “real turkey” in a news release.

“Comptroller Susan Combs exceeded her authority and ignored the law to cut this deal and she’s now trying to hide her mistakes,” he said.

Patterson says Combs made a commitment to race organizers to use the Trust Fund without first receiving a request from a city, county or organizing committee.  He says Combs also violated other provisions under state law.

Jerry Patterson has confirmed he wants to run for Lieutenant Governor in 2014. Comptroller Susan Combs has also been eyeing the post.

Austin’s circuit organizers still have no formal deal with Formula One to host a race in the city. F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone wants $25 million by Sunday or he says he’ll scratch the race from the 2012 schedule. 

Nathan Bernier is the transportation reporter at KUT. He covers the big projects that are reshaping how we get around Austin, like the I-35 overhaul, the airport's rapid growth and the multibillion-dollar transit expansion Project Connect. He also focuses on the daily changes that affect how we walk, bike and drive around the city. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on X @KUTnathan.
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