Judge denies “fishing” expedition; rail foes file suit

Late Tuesday, Judge Levi Benton ruled in favor of METRO to deny rail opponents’ requested “Rule 202″ motion. Opponents claim that METRO is violating terms of the 2003 transit referendum. They asked the judge to compel METRO officials to provide oral testimony so they could fish for ammunition for their planned lawsuit. Judge Benton denied their motion, perhaps because it was plain the plaintiff intended to file suit with or without extra depositions.

Sure enough, plaintiff Daphne Scarbrough filed suit against METRO the next day. Her high-profile attorney, Andy Taylor, boldly described the suit as “nuclear war” against METRO. But despite Taylor’s bravado, it’s important to remember that lawsuits have always been a part of rail politics in Houston, but litigation has never stopped a rail project.

The Houston Chronicle has the story:
“Merchant seeks to bar Metro projects without new election”.

What’s interesting is this: one anti-Richmond merchant now seems intent to shut down Houston’s entire transit system expansion just to keep light rail off of Richmond. That may not go over well in the Near North Side, East End, Third Ward, or Uptown…

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