The County and District Attorney of Ellis County filed a response to Carl Watson's Petition Requesting Depositions from Ellis County Judge Carol Bush with the 40th Judicial District Court of Ellis County on February 13, 2012.
On page five of the response, the County Attorney stated "As the presiding officer of the Ellis County Commissioners Court and the only member with a constituency comprised of the entire County, the Ellis County Judge has a vast array of daily legal and practical duties. Ellis County should not have its County Judge subjected to an interrogation to further a dubious investigation regarding litigation which has not commenced."
The County Attorney stated on page six "At each meeting of the Ellis County Commissioners Court, discussion and action is taken regarding matters affecting the general public. Each decision of the Ellis County Commissioners Court is likely to generate support and dissent. The jurisdiction of the 40th Judicial District Court should not be utilized as a weapon for a dissenter to harass a member of the Ellis County Commissioners Court under the ruse of furthering a fictitious pre-suit investigation."
There are a few problems with these statements. For one, discussion regarding the changing of the deed restriction was not available to residents near the SSC property because the agenda item was vague and did not adequately alert the public to what property was involved. A simple inclusion of "FM 1446", "Hoyt Rd", or a few other simple words could have clarified this to the general public. Additionally, the agenda item did not state the nature of the deed restriction, so even if the general public could have known what property this affected, they had no clue to the nature of the change and to what extent it would affect them.
Is the response from Ellis County an indication that Judge Bush believes she does not have the time to address a serious issue that is affecting a large number of her constituents? Is it also further provocation to the public that feel her attitude has been arrogant and ignorant of the concerns of Ellis County residents? Does it further inflame residents who already think that she acts as if she is above the residents she is suppose to represent?
Although Mr. Watson initiated the litigation, he did so as a representative of a larger number of residents. The response calling Mr. Watson a "dissenter" who is harassing Judge Bush has inflamed residents even further, because that statement applies to all who are already outraged at the Commissioners' Court.
If Judge Bush or the County Attorney's office consider Mr. Watson's petition "dubious", then what do they consider the actions of the entire Commissioners' Court with their dubious description of the agenda item and their dubious actions avoiding answering to residents? If there is anything dubious about any of this, the dubious actions fall directly on the Commissioners' Court and in the legal response.
Some residents feel the language used in the response was nothing more than an attempt to harass Mr. Watson.
Residents have also been talking amongst themselves asking what the Commissioners' Court has to hide by Judge Bush trying to avoid taking part in depositions.
From here on out, the Ellis County Commissioners Court will be known as "The Dubious Five".
It will be interesting to see how this plays out.