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Aleshire steps away from Bastrop suit

Wednesday, April 12, 2017 by Jo Clifton

Austin attorney Bill Aleshire notified the city of Bastrop on Tuesday that he had filed a notice of nonsuit without prejudice related to Paul Burt’s Texas Open Meetings Act suit against the city. Aleshire, a noted public information lawyer, said he was withdrawing the suit because, “the priority is to have my client have his day in court.” Because Bastrop’s city attorney David Bragg had threatened to ask that the district court hold Aleshire in contempt, Aleshire said it was best for him to withdraw. The threat was related to Aleshire’s previous service as the attorney for intervenors in the County of Bastrop v. Pine Forest Investment Group case. Aleshire said in a letter to Bragg that the city attorney’s claim that Aleshire’s representation of Burt violated an injunction related to the Pine Forest case “is without merit. The claim that the City Council violated the Open Meetings Act was not intended to be, and is not, an action to enforce the (Pine Forest/Bastrop) development agreement.” Like any citizen of Bastrop, Aleshire said, “Burt has the right to have his Open Meetings claim heard without the focus being on who his attorney is.” Aleshire said he had spoken with Austin attorney Chuck Herring about representing Burt in this matter. The clock is ticking, but Burt has four years from the date of the alleged violation, May 28, 2013, to file a new suit on the matter.

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