Why Didn't Somervell County Hospital District member Ron Hankins RECUSE himself from vote or actions re: State of Texas ex rel Best v Harper?Somervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas

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Why Didn't Somervell County Hospital District member Ron Hankins RECUSE himself from vote or actions re: State of Texas ex rel Best v Harper?

5 December 2019 at 11:29:31 AM

Somervell County Hospital District board member, and former Somervell County Attorney for almost 20 years,  Ron Hankins secretly wrote the Petition For Removal to try to remove elected board member Paul Harper from the hospital board in 2014. He didn't tell anyone he had done that (of course Darrell Best knew), and it came out during depositions in May 2019. He had written the petition and then emailed it to Darrell Best, who, according to Best, walked it down to Andy Lucas office, and then they both went to the clerk's office to file it. Hankins was asked by Harper's attorney, Mary Barkley, why, since he wrote the petition he didn't file it himself? He said, because I was on the board.

So, Hankins apparently didn't want anyone to know he had filed it and he KNEW he had a conflict of interest with any board actions should people know that he had done so. 

Seems to me that it is basic ethical behaviour, if you know that you have a conflict of interest with an item that is going to be voted on at any given meeting, that you recuse yourself from any discussions or voting about the matter. 

Let's go look at a vote Ron Hankins took on May 28, 2015 at a Somervell County Hospital District board meeting. Notice a few things about this. First, the Somervell County Hospital District's attorney had recommended that the first $25,000 of Harper's attorney fees after being sued be paid for by the District (board insurance didn't kick in otherwise until after the first $25,000 had been spent) . Since this item was about Harper, he recused himself at the beginning of the meeting. But then, Ron Hankins did not, but again, he was heavily involved in this case AGAINST Harper because of filing the removal petition and yet publicly told no one. Did anyone that board meeting know he had a conflict? Apparently not. BUT HE KNEW. HE SHOULD HAVE RECUSED HIMSELF FROM THAT VOTE. Of course he didn't, as per that clip above, because he "was on the board".  His opinion one way or the other doesn't really matter, although I and someone else thought it was UnAmerican enough to write letters to the editor about it., after which Hankins sicc'd the police on the letter writer. 

Second, Hankins wrote an affidavit to support Andy Lucas, acting as the State of Texas, to try to prevent Paul Harper from attending meetings by asking the judge to issue a TRO (Temporary Restraining Order). He was, at that time, and still is, an acting Somervell County Hospital District board member. So he involved himself in the case again in cahoots with Andy Lucas. HE SHOULD HAVE SAT THAT ONE OUT because it was just more of the same of inserting himself into a case that he secretly started by creating a petition. 

This is, in my view, highly unethical. 


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