On the Temporary Restraining Order Somervell County Attorney Andy Lucas & Ron Hankins Tried to Prevent Harper from attending meetings
5 December 2019 at 9:50:02 AM
Now the State of Texas ex rel Best v Harper case is over, with State of Texas the loser and having to pay a judgment to Harper, there are some items that I have thought about for quite a while that I now feel free to talk about. One of those is the fact that in January of 2015, Andy Lucas, who was acting as the State of Texas in the case, attempted to prevent Paul Harper from attending a meeting in which Ray Reynolds was going to be evaluated, as per the bylaws of the Somervell County Hospital District. To me, it looked like the State had failed in its attempt to keep Harper off the board for the specious reasons it had ginned up, and was trying again to prevent a duly elected official from attending meetings to which he was entitled to go. Alons with Lucas, Ron Hankins, who was the former Somervell County Attorney for almost 20 years and was at this time one of hte board members on the Somervell County Hospital District, wrote an affidavit to express why he thought Harper should have this TRO against him. The judge denied this request and said that prior restraint was something taught in the first year of law school, so apparently both Lucas and Hankins were snoozing during that part of school. Judge Schools current and former Somervell County Attorneys.
What did both Andy Lucas and Ron Hankins say about the TRO when they were asked during depositions in May of 2019?
Barkley (Harper's attry) The state still filed an application for a TRO to continue the suspension of Mr Harper even though OIG had approved him. Why was that?
Lucas: I don't recall that. You're going to have to refresh my memory.
Barkley: You don't recall that the state filed an application for a TRO in January after this?
Lucas: It's been many years. I don't recall that.
Ron Hankins, current board member of Somervell County Hospital District
Barkley: I'm handing you what's been marked as Exhibit 19. Can you identify that for me?
Hankins: Yes, it's an affidavit that I signed 14 January 2015.
Barkley: And why did you prepare this?
Hankins: I don't remember if I prepared it but
Barkley: Who would have prepared it?
Hankins: I don't know. Maybe I did. There was concern because there was an attempt, a continuing attempt by the four members of the board to remove Ray Reynolds as CEO with, to my knowledge, no apparent reason.
Barkley: And so, what was the purpose of this affidavit?
Hankins: To try to get a temporary restraining order.
Barkley: To prevent Mr Harper from getting back on the board?
Hankins. Yes.. that's my recollection.
Barkley: How did you get the information, on the last page, second paragraph of Exhibit 19, it states "It is further my belief (and I so allege) that if Mr. Paul Harper is allowed to partcipate in this meeting on Friday, January 16th, that there will be a vote of 4 for and 3 against to terminate Mr Ray Reynolds employment as Administrator/CEO ." How did you get that information?
Hankins: Simply by watching everything that had been going on.
So looking into a crystal ball to see the future allows an attorney to make things up about what, from his own perceptions, might happen. But of course the judge, again, DENIED this attempt to keep a board member away from a meeting by pointing out that a first year law student would know better.
Have to point out one other interesting thing about this affidavit. The person that was the notary for Hankins was Andy Lucas's secretary. Now, when I have gone to Somervell County to get something notarized, I go to the JP office to do so, and in fact, am directed there by the county clerk's office, that office is caddy corner from the clerk's office closest to the front door of the Somervell County Annex on Vernon Street. . McPherson is all the way down the end of the hall by the district court, in Lucas office. So, Hankins was already, at the time he notarized his affidavit, IN Lucas office that day. And yet Lucas somehow can't remember doing his filing, and, as known from other things Lucas has said, apparently does not keep relevant information in his file.