Frivolous lawsuit of State of Texas ex rel Darrell Best v Paul Harper OVER: Somervell County and Darrell Best PAID
Somervell County County Commissioners (Glen Rose, Texas) voted 5/0 on August 31, 2020 to pay Harper $165,000 in settlement. Darrell Best has separate settlement agreement to pay Harper $45,000.
Darrell Best, local Glen Rose resident, with Ronald D Hankins (former Somervell County Attorney and current Somervell County Hospital District board member) writing the legal petition behind the scenes, attempted to remove duly elected official Paul Harper from the Somervell County Hospital District board via a civil removal petition. Note Hankins expression when he is caught red-handed.
Darrell Best could have done nothing, however, were it not for Andy Lucas, Somervell County Attorney, taking on the petition for all purposes as the State of Texas. (A citizen can petition to remove an elected official but the State of Texas must decide, at its discretion, to bring it forward)
Andrew Lucas failed to remove Harper at the District Court level, Harper took the defensive action of an anti-slapp motion (Texas Citizens Participation Act -TCPA) and won at the 10th court of appeals. Rather than that ending the suit, Andy Lucas chose to pursue appealing the 10th court of appeals decision all the way to the Texas Supreme Court.
Note who paid for the attorney bills for Andy Lucas as the representative of the State of Texas - Somervell County taxpayers did, via Somervell County Commissioners Court
The judgment of the Texas Supreme Court went against the State of Texas. Coming back down to District Court level, the money judgment was against the State of Texas and Darrell Best. Somervell County, or rather Somervell County taxpayers had been paying the attorney bills for Andrew Lucas who was acting as the State of Texas, and the Texas AG's office told Somervell County they were responsible to pay the judgment since what Andy Lucas did as the State of Texas was discretionary and the State of Texas AG''s office was not involved. Some 6 years later, Somervell County has now paid $165,000 to settle and Darrell Best has a settlement agreement to pay $45,000.
Some additional video
Why did Ron Hankins keep the fact he wrote the petition a secret? Because "I was on the board". That, in turn, would have led to him having to recuse himself in any votes that dealt with the case;
Ron Hankins sicc''d the police on a letter to the editor writer. Humorously, he took umbrage to the letter signatory being anonymous even though he hid his involvement with the petition