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The Mendoza Line: DeBerry falls back on her experience using water to defend SAWS after winter storm

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“I know water. I drink it. I bathe in it," County Commissioner Trish DeBerry said. - FACEBOOK / TRISH DEBERRY
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  • “I know water. I drink it. I bathe in it," County Commissioner Trish DeBerry said.
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Bexar County Commissioner Trish DeBerry, whose public relations firm has a contract with the San Antonio Water System, denied any bias when lobbing softballs at the utility during hearings about February’s winter storm.

“Electricity is so weird and unnatural, not like water,” DeBerry said. “I know water. I drink it. I bathe in it. I have used a lot of water to maintain this hair color. But what has electricity ever done for anyone, other than go out when you’re blow drying your hair?”

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DeBerry’s public relations firm, the DeBerry Group, extended a $175,000 marketing contract with SAWS for a year in October. DeBerry, at the time a candidate to represent Precinct 3 on Bexar County Commissioners Court, said there would be no conflict of interest since the county doesn’t oversee SAWS.

“You have to know, $175,000 is nothing,” DeBerry told the Mendoza Line at the time. “It may mean a lot to you, but it’s just $14,583.33 a month. I have much bigger contracts than that. Those would be the ones to be conflicted over.”

DeBerry also promised before the elections that she would resign any public contracts that caused a “perceived” conflict.

“Maybe I should have clarified. When I said that, I meant I would resign any contract that I perceived to cause a conflict,” she said. “And I don’t perceive any conflict. I get along really well with everyone at SAWS. That’s how I was able to win the business in the first place. They like me. I like them. It’s a wonderful working relationship.”

County Judge Nelson Wolff appointed DeBerry and Commissioner Tommy Calvert as county liaisons to a committee reviewing local response to February's devastating winter storm. Wolff said he’s not concerned about a potential conflict of interest.

“She only has $87,500 left on this contract if my math is correct,” Wolff said. “And it’s not like she has any real power, which is lucky for CPS. She tells me they really screwed the pooch on this one.”

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