Black Cops: Mayor of Houston Louie Welch discusses a program to increase recruitment efforts for law enforcement personnel at predominantly black colleges
Sports Lewis on Bid: Interview with Guy Lewis, the head men's basketball coach at the University of Houston, about the team's advancement to the playoffs
Stock Show Winner: Ceremony honoring the winners at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo
Mutscher Trial: Series of reports about the trial of former Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives Gus Mutscher in Abilene. Mutscher was one of many Texas politicians facing charges in relation to the Sharpstown scandal.
Reporter Judd McIlvain details the mayor's plan to have the percent of black police officers match the proportion of African Americans living in the city
Mutscher addresses the press as he enters the courtroom
This film from KHOU-TV Channel 11 in Houston contains a series of short news segments that would have aired as highlights to news stories. Many are silent and would have been voiced over by the anchorperson during a live broadcast. The titles for each segment are the originals created by KHOU-TV. The clips on this reel all date from March 1, 1972. This series includes news segments about a program to increase the amount of African-American police officers, an interview with University of Houston's head men's basketball coach Guy Lewis, and the trial of former Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives Gus Mutscher in relation to the Sharpstown scandal.
This film was donated to the Texas Archive of the Moving Image by the Houston Public Library and is a part of the Houston Area Digital Archives. Many more films from the KHOU-TV Collection are available on the Houston Public Library Houston Area Digital Archives website.
Politician Louie Welch was born in Lockney, Texas on December 9, 1918. He received a degree in history from Abilene Christian College, now Abilene Christian University.
Welch began his political career in 1950, serving four terms on the Houston City Council. He unsuccessfully sought the Houston mayoral office three times before being elected to the position in 1963. Houston grew immensely during Welch's five terms as mayor, from the population topping one million people to the opening of the Astrodome in 1965 and the Houston Intercontinental Airport in 1969.
His tenure, however, was not without its controversy. A 1967 conflict between police and Texas Southern University students created a rift between the local administration and many of Houston's African Americans. Welch's reputation also came under fire during his last term over his relationship with well-known crime leaders, leading to suspicions about how his second mayoral bid was financed.
In 1985, Welch ran for mayor again, campaigning in opposition to the extension of job protection rights to homosexuals employed by the city government. He lost to incumbent Kathy Whitmore.
Welch died from lung cancer on January 27, 2008 in his Harris County residence. He was 89.
The Sharpstown scandal was a 1970s stock fraud scandal revolving around Houston banker and insurance company manager Frank Sharp and his companies, the Sharpstown State Bank and the National Bankers Life Insurance Corporation. Sharp granted $600,000 worth of loans from his bank to state officials who would, in turn, invest the money in National Bankers Life stock. He then pushed for legislation (and succeeded, with the help of his investors) that would further inflate the company's value. The officials then sold their shares at a huge gain. The scheme succeeded in generating a quarter of a million dollars in profits.
The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) stepped in in 1971, filing criminal and civil charges against Sharp and former Texas Attorney General Waggoner Carr, among others. Allegations of bribery also spread to Texas House Speaker Gus Mutscher, Jr., Texas Representative Tommy Shannon, Lieutenant Governor Ben Barnes, and Governor Preston Smith.
Later that year, Mutscher, Shannon, and Rush McGinty (one of Mutscher's aides) were indicted by the SEC. All three were found guilty of conspiracy to accept a bribe from Sharp and sentenced to five years' probation. (Mutscher successfully appealed the charges and later served as a Washington County judge.) Sharp was also found guilty of violating federal banking and securities laws and sentenced to three years probation and a $5,000 fine.
While no other elected officials were convicted, the scandal's proximity to the 1972 election brought the political career of anyone associated with Sharp to an abrupt end. Smith was defeated by Dolph Briscoe, while Texas Attorney General Crawford Martin lost his reelection to John L. Hill. In 1973, the Texas Legislature passed a series of ethics reform laws that included legislation requiring better transparency of elected officials' sources of income and campaign finances.