Somervell County Hypocrisy-Whining About Luminant's 2 Losses While Ignoring Andy Lucas
21 July 2016 at 1:27:00 PM
I was listening to the audio from the joint Somervell County-City of Glen Rose meeting held this last Monday on July 18, 2016.
for the FULL AUDIO go here. There was one part that struck me as egregiously hypocritical and that was when Danny Chambers gave a brief history of why Somervell County is in the mess we're in, along with Luminant's part in it. He said, in part
Luminant filed two lawsuits against us, which owners of the power plant, they pay 78 percent of our taxes here in Somervell County. They filed two lawsuits, one a bankruptcy, and one local, last September. Brian, if I get any of this wrong, you correct me. They've already lost twice. We had a final judgement on May 4th, I believe it was, they lost again. They refuse to pay their taxes. They have it in appeals court in Waco. I'm told that March is the earliest that it can even be heard, probably later in the year as far as 2015, now I'm just talking about 2015. It's more likely September of 2017 before we hear what they're going to do about 2015. During that process they went and spent 1.59 billion dollars cash on 2 gas power plants. Naural gas-fired. So it's not that they can't pay their taxes, it's that they won't pay their taxes. Absurd? Yes, it's absurd. If anybody's there from Luminant, I don't mean to offend you, but what we're going through, sucks. So, they should pay up. We all do. Every one of us that owns in this room we pay our taxes or we'd a done been locked down, auctioned off our property but they've got deep pockets and they're going to keep fighting. And they're going to try to crush us the best they can.
It isn't that I don't agree with that he said , even while believing that anyone who goes to court has the right to take it as far as he or she or they want to go, all the way to the top. However, it seems peculiar to complain about Luminant's losses and "why don't they pay up" while not asking County Attorney Andrew Lucas who represents the State of Texas the VERY SAME THING regarding the Harper v State of Texas ex rel George Darrell Best. I have heard informally that Somervell County Commissioners, perhaps Judge Danny Chambers, and probably the Somervell County taxpayers don't realize that the judgment of the 10th court of appeals in Waco went AGAINST the State of Texas.
This Court has reviewed the briefs of the parties and the record in this proceeding as relevant to the issues raised. Because it is the opinion of this Court that there was error in the judgment of the trial court; it is the judgment of this Court that the judgment signed by the trial court on March 11, 2015 is reversed and remanded to the trial court for further proceedings.
It is further ordered that Paul Reed Harper is awarded judgment against the State of Texas for Paul Reed Harper’s appellate costs that were paid, if any, by Paul Reed Harper; and all unpaid appellate court cost, if any, is taxed against the State of Texas.
That means that not only did Andy Lucas lose the civil lawsuit he chose to bring against Paul Harper almost two years ago, but he has lost twice more (THAT MAKES THREE TIMES), because recently the appeals court denied his Motion for a Rehearing. Is he entitled to continue to pursue this, racking up more costs for the county and taxpayers for someone who isn't even in office anymore? Sure, Lucas can do this, JUST AS LUMINANT CAN APPEAL. Meanwhile, the behind the scenes costs for attorneys, court costs, etc pile up (and there is still an issue of whether Darrell Best ALSO might be responsible for any part of this) . I suppose Lucas simply doesn't care, or just plain old hates to lose or it's that people that live here don't know what's going on and aren't in their commissioners's faces asking what the heck is going on. When/if people start getting laid off, insurance cut, services cut and taxes raised, might someone then take a look at what Lucas, an elected official himself, is doing?
In the last couple of weeks, I was at a Somervell County Commissioners Court meeting and Brian Watts, the auditor, mentioned moving money to the general fund from Andy's account for some "outside legal expenses". I thought, huh, so this means that the county would be paying for Lucas from the county budget. I asked what those expense were, through a couple of open rec requests, and found that the entire $4,634.00 went for outside legal attorneys that Lucas hired to do his Motion for a Rehearing, that he ultimately lost. So, extrapolate from that. Who do you think will be paying for this lawsuit if, should Lucas decide to appeal again, he loses yet again ( a THIRD time with, remember, the judgement already against him) ? It will be YOU AND ME and it will be coming from the strapped coffers of Somervell County, where recently Brian Watts said that they are fixing to be tapping the reserves.
Going back to what Danny said. He said Luminant lost twice. So did Andy Lucas ie the State of Texas. Does Andy Lucas believe that Somervell County has deep pockets so that he can, Lone Wolf style, keep pushing off the inevitable? I actually have no idea why he doesn't pay up, maybe his pride, but his pride is going to cost Somervell County citizens even more money if it continues, at a time when Somervell County can ill afford it. And it doesn't appear that anyone who is in charge of the budget they keep discussing is even paying attention!
More than that, can't feel for Somervell County complaining about Luminant exercising their American right to appeal if they also support Andy Lucas doing this as the State of Texas. Can't be a hypocrite, sparky.
P.S. To my knowledge there have been ZERO public meetings about this lawsuit and its repercussions for the county finances.