New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 31, 1980, New Braunfels, Texas
ii ic of lim Center Cornu, u, Box 1+5^36 callas, ‘l^exa;. 75235
Taylor Communications Inc
25 cents December 31,1980
y Vol. 89 - No. 134
24 Pages - 2 Sections
(USPS 377 880) New Braunfels. Texas
Blackley is choice of bar, commissioners for judge
By HENRY KRAUSSE Staff writer
Attorney Charles Blackley was elected by the Comal County Bar Association at a special meeting today to temporarily assume the duties of Judge D.H. Buchanan.
Buchanan suffered a stroke and was admitted to McKenna Memorial Hospital Saturday, where he was listed in fair condition today.
Comal County Commissioners Court, in an emergency meeting today, approved the association’s choice and 207th District Judge Robert T. Pfeuffer swore him in as a special judge.
Blackley is a 1974 law graduate of Baylor University, and has lived in New Braunfels since 1975. He was a member of Bartram, Reagan, Burrus, and Dierksen, but was planning to join Chunn and Chunn, both local law firms.
“I’m between jobs. That’s the reason I could be used on a temporary basis. Chunn and Chunn were gracious enough to allow a temporary delay," Blackley said.
Robert T. Pfeuffer, 207th District judge, said in an interview Tuesday he called the meeting to appoint a replacement “until Judge Buchanan is back on his feet. He'll probably be out for about 30 days.
“There’s so much business in the County Court-at-law, we just couldn’t let it sit still. So I took the bull by the horns, looked up the law, and had the members of the bar association notified by telephone,” he said.
Buchanan can return to the bench as soon as he feels up to it, Pfeuffer said.
Weuffer warned the 28 lawyers who assembled in the district courtroom at 9 a.rn that whoever took the position
would have to “desist from the practice of law" during the period of replacement.
"It’s going to be a sacrifice on the part of whoever takes it. We have a full month ahead and we cannot afford the luxury of a backlog," he said.
Pfeuffer called on the attorneys to stand, and whoever considered himself unavailable for the position could sit down. That left only three in the running: Blackley, W.T. Comiskey, and Richard Jasinski.
The lawyers elected Blackley by secret ballot, using Sheriff Walter Feller's hat to collect them.
Steve Taylor, association president, said Blackley will be compensated at the rate of $2,500 a month. “Being an elected official. Judge Buchanan’s salary also continues," Pfeuffer said.
Rep. Bennie Bock congratulates Charles BlackeyU.S. sends new message
WASHINGTON (AP) — Amid conciliatory>comments from Tehran, Algerian intermediaries will deliver a new U.S. message to Iran which Deputy Secretary of State Warren Christopher says could bring a prompt resolution of the hostage deadlock if the Iranians are “willing and able” to go along.
The three Algerian envoys were to leave Washington today after four days of intensive exchanges with American officials. Before transmitting the message to Iran, the Algerians will discuss it with Foreign Minister Mohammad Benyahia.
Christopher told reporters Tuesday the latest U.S. note represents a reformulation of the basic American position conveyed to Iran in mid-November and made public by the State Department on Sunday. He said it “will enable the two governments — American and Iranian — to reach a prompt resolution of the matter if the Iranians are willing and able to do so.”
The message is in response to Iran’s nine-day-old demand for $24 billion in financial guarantees before
the 52 hostages, now in their 424th day of captivity, are released.
Specifically, the Iranians want $10 billion deposited in Algeria’s Central Bank of Algeria for the return of identified frozen assets, $4 billion more as a guarantee against other, unidentified assets and $10 billion as a guarantee against identification and recovery of the late Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi’s property in the United States
Statements by various U.S. officials over the past few days have suggested the reply attempts to underscore the Carter administration’s position that the demand is excessive and legally impossible to meet.
Meanwhile, the head of Iran’s hostage negotiations team, Behzad Nabavi, suggested Tuesday the Tehran regime might be ready to compromise.
He told a news conference if the U.S. position meets with the Algerians’ approval, “it would be acceptable in our view.” He said his government was “ready to listen" to what the Carter administration had to say.Reagan Iran hard-line blessed
WASHINGTON (AP) — Ronald Reagan had the informal blessings of the Carter administration in his denunciations of Iran for refusing to release the American hostages, an aide to the president-elect says.
The aide, who insisted on anonymity, said Reagan’s advisers understood from their briefings with administration officials that hard-line statements by the president-elect might be useful in breaking the stalemate in negotiations with Iran. The idea was to persuade Iranian leaders that a settlement with the current administration is their best option, the aide said.
The day before Christmas, Reagan labeled the Iranian captors "kidnappers and criminals.” Four days later, asked about Iran’s demands for financial guarantees as a condition of the hostages’ freedom, he
replied, “I don’t think you pay ransom for people that have been kidnapped by barbarians.”
The Reagan aide said the president-elect’s statements were not prompted by any formal agreement between the incoming and outgoing administrations. “If we were to agree to any action, we would become parties to the negotiations, and we do not in the slightest want to undercut the position of the president,” he said.
But he added, “There are certain things that are understood among gentlemen."
Asked about the Reagan camp’s understanding, a Carter administration official privy to the negotiations said, “I think it has been useful ... for them to say what they have been saying about Iran not holding out for a better deal from Reagan.”Indecency suspect is hunted
Police are searching for a man who is supected of being indecent with a 9-year-old boy he picked up in this area early last evening.
Between 5 and 6 .30 p.m. last night, the child was near the Church Hill Street overpass near Loop 337 when the man, who is described as being cleanshaven, tall and thin with gray hair, picked up the boy. It is believed that the man is wearing a class ring with a blue stone, according to police reports.
“The man forced the boy into the car, which is described as being a large two-door silver car with a maroon hood,” Police Chief Burney Boeck said.
“The license plates are believed to be out of state with a dark blue background and white letters. The inside of the vehicle is maroon with either bench type or bucket seats and power windows and locks. The car has square tailights,” he added.
When the boy got in the car, the man, whose age is unknown, displayed a badge resembling a police badge and drove the boy towards Austin, Boeck said. “He brought the boy back into town and made him get out of the car, near where he first picked the boy up, Boeck said.
Anyone having information about the man is asked to contact the Police Department.
Bank plans to appeal
Canyon I Mike Bank will appeal a summary judgment handed down Monday by 207th District Judge Robert Pfeuffer ruling in favor of New Braunfels Utilities' civil suit against the bank.
Utilities filed suit against former manager Richard Sledge and the bank last July in an attempt to recover $23,000 in funds allegedly deposited thsre by Sledge in 1976 for personal use.
Pfeuffer ordered Sledge and the bank to “jointly and severally" pay back the $23,000 plus 9 percent interest compounded annually since July 1976.
Sledge made no attempt to fight the suit, and promised to make full restitution of the money to Utilities when he was sentenced Nov. 26 after pleading guilty to a criminal theft charge.
"I think he’s given up," Kdwin Nolan, attorney for the bank, said today. “We’re going to have to go to an appellate court.”
The bank was named iii the suit because it permitted Sledge to with
draw money for personal use from an account he opened with Utilities funds, Tom Burrus, attorney for Utilities, said
“I can’t speak for the judge. He has not given any reasons for his ruling. I
can only assume it was because the bank permitted Sledge to use these funds for his personal use when the deposit was clearly a trust deposit,” Burrus said.
Nolan, however, said there was no reason why the bank shouldn't have handled the deposit.
“Depositions indicated Sledge told the Utilities trustees the money belonged to him. They believed him. Now four years later they come to the bank and say, wait a minute, we want our money back,’” Nolan said Nolan said he would appeal to the Court of Civil Appeals and the Supreme Court, and expects to win.
“I feel the judge’s ruling is wrong. If that motion is upheld (Utilities’ motion for a summary judgment) it will remake banking law We’re basing our case on a two-year-old case that has been the current banking law in force," Nolan said.
Nolan and Burrus both said there were no disputed questions of fact.
“It’s a question of law. Is New Braunfels Utilities entitled to recover from Canyon Lake Bank? We feel they should not, since it was a bona fide negotiation of the check he brought in,” Nolan said.
Burrus said Pfeuffer would not sign the judgment until Jan. 7.
Sledge deposited a $23,000 check at Canyon I .ake Bank in July 1976 He bought a certificate of deposit at CLB and used the interest and part of the principal to pay off personal debts.
Sledge appeals his conviction
Richard Sledge will appeal his theft conviction, his lawyer told 22nd District Judge Terry Jacks yesterday.
The former manager of New Braunfels Utilities, who pleaded guilty Get. 23 to a seconnd degree felony theft charge of $23,000 in Utilities funds, dismissed his attorney, Fred Clark, and was represented by Wallace Henderson of San Antonio.
Sledge was released on a $5,000 bond, District Attorney Bill Schroeder said today.
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals will have to decide if there are grounds for the appeal, Schroeder said.
Neither Sledge nor Henderson, of the San Antonio law firm of Hope, Henderson, Hohmann and Georges, was immediately available for comment.
“It will have to be a straight appeal, and not a motion for a new trial, since
he pleaded guilty and it was not a jury trial. It’s kind of weird,” Schroeder
Jacks sentenced Sledge to five years in the Texas Department of Corrections and a fine of $2,000 at a judgment session Nov. 26, but formal sentencing was delayed until yesterday.
At the Nov. 26 session Sledge told tht press he did not plan to appeal and promised to make full restitution of th< money to Utilities.
Since Jacks is retiring today, any new ruling on the case will have to come from his replacement, Hays County Court-at-Law Judge Charles R Ramsey, who will take over 22nd District Court.
Asked if he was surprised by Sledge’s decision to fight his conviction, Schroeder relied, “In a way, yes. From what he had said I thought he was resigned to it and repentant.”
Staff photos tty John Sinter
after special election
Comal County Bar Association members consider temporary replacements for County Court at-Law Judge D.H Buchanan