New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 8, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas
Page 4A — Herald-Zeitung — Saturday, March 8, 2003ATTORNEY/From 1A
Ortiz, who share 50 percent interests in the bar and building, respectively.
“This district attorney could have clouded the title of this business and this building pending a forfeiture hearing without taking away my client’s only avenue for sustaining his family,” Peterson said. “You don’t have to take . the business away.”
The Ortiz family, Peterson said, w ould respect the outcome of a forfeiture hearing. He said he was confident of ' the outcome.
“The district attorney is -'going to lose the forfeiture of I the building in the trial court lor the court of appeals. I I think this whole thing is sim-I j>ly intended to harass Mr. r Ortiz,” Peterson said. : -“Throwing a baggie of marihuana into a building doesn’t ;give the state the right to
* take it.”
Assistant District Attor-
* hey Mel Koehler, who seized ;*the building, appeared in
* Judge Jack Robison’s 207th
* 'Judicial District Court in
* blue jeans — a violation of
He apologized and told Robison he had only seven minutes’ notice that Peterson had filed motions in the case. •
“Is that all right?” Koehler asked the judge of his dress.
“It’s not all right, but we’ll proceed rather than delay this matter,” Robison told Koehler. “I recommend you keep an extra pair of pants in your office for occasions such as this one.”
Peterson’s motions asked that the bar be returned to Ortiz until a forfeiture hearing could be scheduled — and that the hearing be conducted before a jury.
Koehler argued that Robison had no jurisdiction in the matter, because a forfeiture case had not been filed in district court.
Under the law, Koehler has 30 days to file the case.
Robison looked off into the center of the courtroom while he considered the issue.
‘lf you haven’t filed a case, there’s nothing here I have jurisdiction over. It seems like
Under an application for 'an amendment to its permit filed in 1997 and approved •Jay the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality in i 2001, the GBRA sought to have the confirmed yield of the lake increased from I -50,000 acre-feet of water per
• year to 90,000 acre-feet.
Coupled with agreements ; that make water for hydro-; electric generation subordi-
• nate to water slated for
• human consumption, the
• GBRA has said its new peril; mit would actually keep the Jake more full more often ..than the situation that existed before.
The amendment also opens up for the GBRA the ability -to sell water to Boerne, Blan--co, Bulverde, north Bexar -County and New Braunfels.
. The Friends of Canyon .Lake, which filed suit to stop ‘the amendment in 2001, does not believe that the new permit will protect lake levels.
Bob Wickman, president of the FOCL, said the Supreme Court decision announced Thursday was not unexpected.
‘The state has been acting in solidarity here to cement the plans to take water from
Canyon Lake,” Wickman said. “We had anticipated this. We had to go through the drill so we could tell a federal court that we had exhausted all remedies within the state.
“We hope people who are concerned about the loss to the economy and the impacts on the lake will not lose heart. We’re still in only the first quarter of the ball game,” Wickman said.
West said the FOCL is “certainly entitled” to appeal to federal court. He said the decision should not delay the Western Canyon project any further.
‘There are cases where projects have gone forward regardless of pending challenges,” West said.
“The fact of the matter is, these folks in Bulverde don’t have an alternative water supply. It would be a different situation if there were alternatives out there for people. That’s not the case here,” he said.
“It’s regrettable that they feel that way and would place their recreational interests ahead of the needs of their neighbors for water,” West said. “That’s unfortunate.”
create local jobs. Kendrick wants to require those jobs be saved for residents.
Last month Kendrick voted in favor of the Moll Industries incentives, but said he wants to protect citizens tax dollars.
“We’re short of money, and they’re giving it away,” Kendrick said.
He said things would be different if the money were coming from the county.
Monroe Miller, chairman of the 4B board, said the proposal would handicap efforts to draw commerce to the city.
“Our job is to create opportunities for economic development,” Miller said. “We have people who have skills .Who aren’t using them, and ;that’s a problem to me.”
J Michael Meek, president ;of the Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce Inc., said Kendrick’s resolution would inhibit business
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there’s nothing here for me to hear just to be candid with you boys,” Robison said.
* Then, the judge turned to Casiano Ortiz and asked him if he’d represented him as an attorney 15 years ago.
The elder Ortiz agreed that he had.
“Not only do I not have jurisdiction,” Robison said, ‘but Tm going to have to recuse myself when jurisdiction is established.”
Peterson, Koehler and the Ortiz family then went down to county court-at-law to see Judge Brenda Chapman, who signed the forfeiture warrant, setting a bond of $100,000 on the business and its contents.
The attorneys met with Chapman in her chambers, and then Chapman set a hearing on the motions for 3 p.m. Friday.
Ortiz was arrested on allegations of possession of between four ounces and five pounds of marijuana and evading arrest.
He posted bail and was released from custody the following day.
The marijuana and evading arrest allegations are state jail felonies punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and up to two years in a state jail.
A third charge of not having insurance on the truck he allegedly fled in is a misdemeanor.
Ortiz turned himself in Feb. I to face an added charge of possession of gambling paraphernalia in connection with property allegedly seized at the bar. The charge is a class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in county jail and a $4,000 fine.
Three weeks ago, the district attorney’s office filed forfeiture proceedings against the truck Ortiz was driving when he was arrested and $3,200 in cash he was carrying in a vinyl bank bag.
Peterson said the seized money was about to be deposited against Ortiz’s quarterly taxes on his business.
“Drug dealers do not carry their money in vinyl Chase Bank bags,” Peterson said. “Businessmen who have to pay their taxes do.”
Sutton, has a master’s degree in education administration, is an academic instructor in air navigation. He ran about five years ago for the district 7 board seat and was discouraged by the “pathetic turnout” of the election. He has lived in Garden Ridge since 1996 and stays abreast of issues in CISD.
He said he is impressed by how educators in public school use their resources.
He said he hopes to be in a position to improve things, but, more importantly, wants the voting public to show up and get involved.
Candidates interested in filing for one of the four seats up for election can do so between now and March 19. The election is May 3.
Also running in District 7 are Bill Swint and Randy Pawelek. Dora Gonzales and Dan Krueger have filed for District I. Rose Cervin and Lee Iredale have filed for District 5.
The school district is divided into seven single-member
expansion at a time when bringing new commerce to the city is crucial.
He said an increased commercial tax base is critical for the city to have the revenue it needs to spend on city services. He also said without new commerce to the area
He said the policy also would make New Braunfels unfriendly to commuters from other cities.
Kendrick also said the city should keep better tabs on these incentives to make sure companies that benefit comply with all stipulations.
Meek said that effort would put more strain on city staff.
Meek and Miller are also concerned about the legality of Kendrick’s proposal.
Kendrick said he has heard arguments from constituents who do not want to see tax dollars supporting incoming commerce.
districts. For 2003, only patrons in Districts I, 2, 5 and 7 will vote in the CISD election.
Trustees currently representing those districts are Dora Gonzales, District I, secretary of the board; Krueger, District 2, president; Deraid LaRue, District 5; and Pawelek, District 7.
All are completing three-year terms except Pawelek.
Anyone interested in fifing for the election must be a registered voter; five in the single-member district they are filing for, and have been residents of the district for six months. Voter registration cards tell each patron their single-member district number. Applications for a place on the ballot, or additional information, are available from the CISD Central Office at 1421 North Business 35, New Braunfels.
Early voting starts April 16 and ends April 29. Polling locations for all four CISD single-member districts will be announced later.
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