This case is over, final judgment was entered in August 2019. This hearing is from August 20, 2019 held in Somervell County. The case was about a frivolous lawsuit to remove Harper from office that stemmed from a removal petition . Chip Harrison was on the Somervell County Hospital District board and thus present during quite a lot of the time this was going on. The Texas Supreme Court ruled against the State of Texas in December 2018 and the final judgement at the District court was in August 2019.
from the hearing transcript, with some of my comments in between. I'm not posting the first part where Chip Harrison says where he lives, his job, etc.
This first part about Chip Harrison being elected and on the Somervell County Hospital District, and why.
Following is Chip Harrison (A) , attorney is (Q)
About how Chip Harrison's hospital goals were about the same as Harper's
4 of the Somervell County Hospital District members had similar goals.
Chip Harrison testified under oath that he believed a particular meeting to be part of the removal suit.
One of the claims to remove Harper from office is that he had made a motion to set the tax rate to zero. But in fact, he did not do that. (Incidentally, Hood County Hospital District residents pay ZERO tax because of an arrangement with Lake Granbury Medical Center, so wanting to have the same type of thing is not unusual).
NONE of the motions made at that particular meeting were made by Harper. Incidentally, the minutes reflect that and all were voted on at a later board meeting.
Chip testified that Darrell Best "startedout from the get-go... fighting tooth and nail to try and disrupt this board. And so it looked like to me just another one of his idiotic attempts at hamstrining us". Note that Chip was concerned if he was also part of this lawsuit that he didn't have $25,000 to pursue it.
Chip says that Andy Lucas received threats from Andy Lucas. "Andy Lucas brought me down to his office and claimed that me, Eugene, Paul and John Parker had thwarted the Texas Open Meetings Act. Chip denied that.
Chip said the lawsuit was "the craziest thing I had ever heard. I could not imagine that a county attorney would, in their right mind, join a frivolous lawsuit, especially one that someone like Darrell Best drummed up".
Chip was asked if "Mr Harper took any action to harm the hospital district". He said "not to my knowledge... Not one time did Paul suggest that we close the hospital. Not one time did Paul say 'Hey, let's do this to damage the hospital'. Not once did that.. out of 130-somthing meetings we had, not once did that ever appear on an agenda. ". Q. DO YOU BELIEVE THAT THERE IS ANY MERIT AT ALL TO THIS REMOVAL SUIT THAT WAS FILED AGAINST HIM?". Chip No, none at all.
Andy Lucas then cross-examined Chip. Chip told him "I didn't mind the controversy. I didn't enjoy the bullying. And if any crackpot in town can get the county attorney to file a suit against you, I can't afford that. Lucas: "Now you mentioned we had a conversation about the Open Meetings Act, right?" Chip: You called me down to your office and we had a meeting.
Lucas: Okay. But I was expressing a concern so that it wouldn't continue to happen, correct? Chip: I guess you could say expressing a concern. I really took it more as like threats and bullying, but we can call it concern. Lucas: I didn't file any case against you or take any action. Chip: You threatened to the day I was in your office. Lucas. Okay. The ... this removal action happened to be filed against Paul Harper, right? Chip: It did. It could have been any of us.
Now, you see that Andy Lucas says "Okay" to Chips comments about threatening and bullying, instead of contesting them. Also, and this is a critical part, IF it were 1 that Harper was violating TOMA with a walking quorum, then rightly the OTHER PEOPLE IN THAT So-CALLED QUORUM should also have been charged. They weren't, ONLY Harper, which definitely gives the appearance Harper was being singled out and it wasn't about TOMA.