Judge William Sowder’s decision on Thursday to ask both sides in the Amarillo Civic Center lawsuit to deliver briefs to him by mail to determine whether bail is needed from local businessman Alex Fairly compels both sides to work hard to defend their case.
The City of Amarillo is requesting a bail bond to cover all additional costs of its project that are incurred due to legal actions to postpone obtaining funds secured to begin renovations to its civic center at a cost of 260 million, using tax anticipation notes to obtain financing under Texas Code 1431. By asking for $5.9 million, the city claims that this measure protects them from rising tax rates. interest and costs incurred in a lawsuit that, in his legal opinion, has no basis with the city’s action, according to the stipulations of the state code.
Fairly’s legal team argues that since the Texas Attorney General’s (AG) office did not approve the deal, they are not the reason for the delay in funding. Still, Alyssa Bixby Lawson, representing Texas AG at the hearing, made it clear that it would not endorse any deal currently in dispute. The same goes for Frost Bank, which the city secured to fund its measure, which would also not enter into any agreement currently in dispute.
Overall, Lawson said the AG thinks people should have their day in court and would not commit to having a bond of that amount issued in accordance with Texas Code 1205. The AG was very vague on bail actions, but hinted that he might back a nominal bail, which could be a fraction of the amount requested by the city.
The judge in charge of the case had to rule on multiple objections to the interrogation and on the admission of specific elements as evidence. Sowder said he wasn’t interested in hyperbole, such as whether it was the greatest use of funds under that Texas provision, rather than whether it was properly enforced and legal. He gave both parties until the close of business on Wednesday to make presentations to discuss whether to bond. The city, in her case, suggested it was on solid ground to seek such bond to protect ratepayers, while Fairly’s attorney says it saved money since no funding was raised. been obtained at this stage.
Enough with the Globe-News about how it thought the hearing went. He said that boded well for his prosecution, but also felt a nominal bond was a big possibility in the case. He previously said that if the $5.9 million bail was required, it would immediately end his lawsuit due to the amount of money at risk on a legal case that could go multiple ways.
“We were satisfied with the hearing on Thursday; I feel good about the performance of my legal team and continue to be inspired by the overwhelming support of the Amarilloans,” Fairly said. that the delay actually saves the city money.”
Sowder said after reviewing the briefs with rebuttals, he expects to issue a decision on the proposed bond in the first week of August.