Texas land office accuses Houston of mishandling funds, Texas abortion services move to New Mexico

HOUSTON (KIAH) — Here’s what you missed on Eyewitness News at 9 a.m. here on CW39 Houston.

Texas GLO wants Houston to return the funds

Once again, the city of Houston is being asked to return millions of dollars to the state accused of mismanagement. The Texas General Land Office says the city missed deadlines to spend money on Hurricane Harvey flood victims.

The team of 13 investigators received a copy of a letter addressed to the city. In it, the GLO claims the city missed seven of nine deadlines at the end of last month, allowing the GLO to terminate the disaster recovery fund contract.

It’s unclear exactly how much or when the city will have to return the funds.

A major Texas abortion provider will move to New Mexico

One of Texas’ largest abortion providers plans to move operations to New Mexico, and a California-based provider that offers telehealth services related to abortion and reproductive health care is expanding its footprint in the State.

New Mexico will likely continue to see a steady influx of people seeking abortions from neighboring states with more restrictive abortion laws.

New Mexico is home to a Democratic-led legislature and governor, and the state recently took steps to protect providers and patients from out-of-state lawsuits.

Whole Woman’s Health, based in Austin, announced Wednesday that it was looking for a location online to open a new clinic.

Judge: Execution cannot take place without religious demands

A federal judge has issued a temporary order telling Texas prison officials that they can only proceed with next week’s scheduled execution of a death row inmate if they grant all of his religious accommodations, including allowing his spiritual advisor to hold his hand when he receives a death injection.

Ramiro Gonzales is due to be executed on July 13 for the 2001 shooting death of 18-year-old Bridget Townsend.

Texas prison officials objected to Gonzales’ spiritual advisor holding his hand during the execution, saying it could pose a security risk.

Gonzales says the specific physical contact he requested is “of vital importance” to his religious beliefs.

A prison system spokeswoman said her agency was still evaluating the judge’s order.

Ex-Texas deputy chief pleads guilty to excessive use of force

A former East Texas deputy chief has pleaded guilty to violating a prisoner’s civil rights by using excessive force against him.

Steven Craig Shelton was the second officer in the Van Zandt County Sheriff’s Office when the September 21 incident occurred at the county jail.

During a plea hearing Wednesday before a federal magistrate in Tyler, Shelton admitted to hitting a handcuffed and submissive suspect twice with his forearm. He said his action was born out of frustration and was unwarranted.

Sheriff Steve Hendrix resigned in April after indictments accused him and two deputies of lying about Shelton’s actions.

For more ABC13 news and weather, join us for Eyewitness News at 9 am here on CW39.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Gregory M. Roy