Ethics Explorer A Guide to the Financial Interests of Elected Officials

Sen. Wendy Davis District 10 (D-Fort Worth)

Industry
Lawyer, Business Executive
Education
B.A., Texas Christian University; J.D., Harvard University
Committees
  • Open Government (Vice-Chair)
  • Economic Development
  • Transportation
  • Veteran Affairs & Military Installations
Financial Statements
Tax Returns

Sources of Income

  • Davis is a partner at Newby Davis, a Fort Worth-based law firm that offers legal services for cities and other public entities as well as companies trying to do business with those entities.

  • She is also a lawyer "of counsel" with Cantey Hanger, a Fort Worth law firm.

  • Until 2009, she was chief executive officer of the Fort Worth division of Republic Title, a title insurance agency.

  • She currently owns Davis Consults LLC, a mediation services and consulting firm, that has been dormant for more than two years.

  • Davis is running for governor. 

Property

  • Residential property in Fort Worth valued at $595,000

  • Residential property in Fort Worth valued at $299,282 (She receives rental income from this address.)

  • She has reported a stake in a Fort Worth property with Ol' Vic Partners, LLC. Assessment data was not available.

Analysis

  • In both 2011 and 2012, Davis' law partner, Brian Newby, registered as a lobbyist with the Texas Ethics Commission and cited “Newby Davis” as one of his clients. A Davis spokesman said Newby registered with the commission “out of an over-abundance of caution." and that he had "never received compensation for lobbying on behalf of Newby Davis, nor has he testified before or lobbied anyone in the Legislature."

  • Davis has done legal work for several public entities and quasi-public entities that are either in her Senate district or in neighboring districts including Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, the North Texas Transportation Authority and the Fort Worth Independent School District. Davis has long insisted that her work as a lawyer does not conflict with her work as a state senator — she has said she retains a legal ethics adviser to help ensure that she is keeping clear of any potential conflicts — but she has declined requests to identify all of her public sector clients, citing attorney-client privilege.

  • Davis supported two successful bills favored by the North Texas Transportation Authority after earlier supporting different approaches to those transportation issues. Her votes on both bills drew scrutiny because Davis' law firm had been hired by NTTA near the time the bills were being considered by the Legislature. Though Davis' legal contract with NTTA was approved during the last legislative session, Davis' campaign said the senator did not start her work until after the session ended.

  • In the 2013 legislative session, Davis, who had previously come under fire for not disclosing her legal clients, filed legislation to force lawmakers to report all contracts they, their spouses or their close relatives have with any government entities, from state agencies all the way down to municipal offices, public universities and taxing districts. Davis said she full intended for the measure to apply to her. It didn't make it out of committee.