City Denies Social Media Allegations on Laza Case by William Patrick with the Palestine Herald.
Here is a link to the article
from the article
“City Attorney Ron Stutes stated under oath he did not have the city’s authorization to sue Jerry Laza on behalf of the city,” the post claims. Additionally, it states Stutes admitted to receiving neither verbal nor written consent to file the case against Laza.
“Untrue,” Stutes told the Herald-Press Monday. “I have the authority to represent the city in litigation. That point was already brought up and discussed by the court.”
City Manager Michael Hornes was nonplussed. “He’s [Stutes] is the City Attorney,” he said. “Of course we can call upon him to act as counsel.”
We would encourage William (he goes by Bill) to investigative stories before he writes them. If you travel to the District Court House in Palestine you can obtain transcripts from trials and hearings. You can even make copies and take them back to your desk at the Newspaper. We usually do them electronically, but you may not be as sophisticated there. Here is a transcript of a hearing in June 2018 in the Jerry Laza case. We are only posting a few pages as the entire transcript is the length of a short story. Transcripts of the entire case are like a Tolstoy Novel.
This excerpt begins on Page 17 of the Court Transcript of The City of Palestine vs. Jerry Laza from a June 2018 Hearing
LAZA: So you testified that the State gives you
the power to practice law and bring case for your client. But your client didn’t ask you to come and bring this case, right?
LAZA: When did you start this case? What was the date that you started this case?
STUTES: It was — well, I think in June 2016.
LAZA: When did you start the case? That’s when you filed it.
STUTES: My testimony was I think it was in June11 2016. Certainly it was in 2016.
LAZA: So how long did you work on this case before you filed it?
STUTES: I don’t know. Several weeks.
LAZA: Several months?
STUTES: I don’t know what — several months is a very vague term. It was a while.
MR. LAZA: 30 days.
STUTES: More than 30 days.
LAZA: 90 days?
STUTES: I don’t know if it was 90 days.
LAZA: Who brought this case to you to start?
STUTES: Larry Pennell.
LAZA: Larry Pennell brings this case to you. What was Larry Pennell’s job in the city?
STUTES: He was assistant — no, he wasn’t assistant city manager. Maybe he was Director of Finance. I’m not sure exactly what his title was.
LAZA: The finance director comes — does he have any code enforcement training?
STUTES: I have no idea.
LAZA: Do you have code enforcement training?
STUTES: Not specifically, no.
LAZA: But you wrote all of these pages about code enforcement and had me served in June 2016?
LAZA: So when Mr. Pennell comes to you and asks you to do this how did he word it?
STUTES: I don’t recall.
LAZA: He just says hey, we’ve got this guy we just need to file a suit on him?
STUTES: As I just testified, I don’t recall.
LAZA: Is Larry Pennell the only one who came to you and asked for a case to be brought against me?
STUTES: He was the first one that’s the one that I remember that initiated the issue.
LAZA: Did Larry Pennell get approval from the council to do that?
STUTES: I don’t know.
LAZA: Did you ask?
STUTES: I don’t know. I don’t think so.
LAZA: Did you ever ask specifically to file this case against me?
LAZA: The city council for permission or approval?
LAZA: Did you ever ask to get an ordinance for approval?
STUTES: As we testified about 100 times —
LAZA: Did you ask or no? Did you ask to get an approval by ordinance or not? “Yes” or “no”?
STUTES: As I’ve testified about 100 times there was no ordinance.
LAZA: Okay. So you didn’t ask for one?
STUTES: Objection, asked and answered.
LAZA: No, it’s not been answered, Your Honor. I asked him if he got permission, he said no.
THE COURT: Well, we’re dancing all around the bush here. You asked him did he ask —
LAZA: Did he ask?
THE COURT: — for an ordinance —
LAZA: Or approval?
THE COURT: — to bring this lawsuit?
LAZA: That is correct.
THE COURT: Did you ask for an ordinance —
THE COURT: — to bring this lawsuit? Okay. He’s answered.
LAZA: Thank you, sir. No further questions at this time. Thanks.
THE COURT: Okay. Mr. Laza, I’m going to order that you answer the interrogatories and the request for production no later than 5 o’clock p.m. on June 22, 2018. That will give you two weeks to do that. You testified — you used the word approximately, if you didn’t it was something like that
So the Palestine Herald did a front page story about this today without bothering to verify anything? We encourage the citizens of the community there to go down to the courthouse and request a copy of the court transcripts for your self. It should be a public record and if it suddenly should vanish we will publish the entirety here complete with the Anderson County stamp on it!
It may or may not be of interest to Palestine Residents to know exactly what the TAFF plans were and possibly still are for the properties owned by Jerry Laza. Not too mention the financial holdings of the TAFF as well. If the local newspaper prints they have no money, they cannot afford to clean up Jerry Laza’s property if they manage to steal it ect. Currently they report they are broke however a short time ago they had approximately $1.9 Million Dollars. That figure does not include the amount of Mineral Right Properties they hold in various Texas Counties to include Leon. Where did it go?