Joseph F. Andolino, the senior vice-president of Halliburton's tax department, was one of seven men arrested in a sting operation carried out by the Harris County Sheriff's Office.
The seven men were arrested Thursday. Sheriff's officers placed ads on online sites including Craigslist, that strongly suggested the sale of sexual services. Men who answered the ads thought they were speaking to a prostitute but were actually talking to a deputy. If the man was willing to meet, he was told to go to a hotel in the FM1960 and I-45 area of northern Harris County.
Once the meetings took place and a fee for sexual services was agreed to, the men were arrested. One of those arrested was Andolino, 59, a senior vice-president with Halliburton. HalIiburton is one of the largest oilfield services companies in the world with headquarters in Houston.
In response to Andolino's arrest, Christina Garza, a spokeswoman for the Harris County Sheriff's Office, was quoted in the Houston Chronicle as saying, "You never know who you're going to get."
The company acknowledged Andolino is an executive with Halliburton. My Fox Houston reports the company issued the following release, "We confirm Joseph Andolino is a Halliburton executive. We expect our officers and employees to maintain high standards of professional and personal conduct, but we do not comment on personal matters."
Halliburton did not say if Andolino's position with the company is in jeopardy.
Thursday's sting was part of a project to clean up the area where the hotel is located. A strip club in the area is being prosecuted as a "nuisance business." And tighter laws have recently been put into place to gain greater control over sexually oriented businesses.
Garza was quoted by KTRK as saying, "We are not just targeting the prostitutes, the men and women who sell sex, but the people who are buying it too."
Andolino and the six other men face one count each of prostitution, a Class B misdemeanor. If convicted they face up to six months in jail.