Texas Legislative Continuance Abuses and Phil King (Weatherford)'s Surprise Hiring by Oil and Gas Company Somervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas


Texas Legislative Continuance Abuses and Phil King (Weatherford)'s Surprise Hiring by Oil and Gas Company

24 February 2007 at 11:44:14 AM

When you think you have seen most of the ways legislators can abuse the system, you read about yet another. The Weatherford Democrat has an article today about Tab Dobson, who was killed two years ago in a gas well explosion in Parker County; Dobson's forklift hit an old wellhead, that was believed not be dangerous. A lawsuit was filed by the Dobson family and their attorney says that the Encana Oil and Gas USA Inc company rushed to drill without taking precautionary measures, in order to keep the lease from expiring.

Here's the fishy part. Dobson died in 2004 and the trial was FINALLY scheduled for March 20. What happened? Encana hired Representative Phil King last week; two days later King filed a notice of legislative leave.

Texas law allows legislators who also practice law privately to delay cases until 30 days after the Legislature adjourns it’s current session. In the absence of a special session, King’s continuance would delay the Dotson case for approximately 90 days.

Anderson is suggesting that by agreeing to represent Encana, King is abusing the original intent of legislative continuance.

“Encana doesn’t want to go to trial and they don’t want to compensate the family,” Anderson said. “Hiring a lawmaker on the eve of trial, after discovery has been closed, and immediately filing a continuance is nothing more than paying off a state representative.”

Texans for Public Justice has written about how Texas lawmakers abuse this.

The attorney also wants to see King disqualified because he says he and King discussed privileged information concerning the case. And..

“Mr. King went further and informed me that, as a legislator, he could do things in Austin that would really ‘mess with them,’” Anderson’s affidavit states. “Mr. King explained that, if he was retained in the Crosstex case, he could talk to some people in Austin to do things to ‘shut them down for a while.’ Mr. King explained that hurting them in the ‘pocket book’ was the only way I was going to get things done in the Crosstex case.”

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