Bill Gammon sets the record straight.
Thank you Bill Gammon. Your hard work gave the residents of Circle C the opportunity to run the CCHOA for the first time ever. Let it be known, that the first legal elections took place in 2004, 16 years after the CCHOA began. If you look for any ballots or proxies dated before 2004, you will not find them.
Someone else wrote me privately and asked me the same thing. Those who heard the statements from Jim O’Reilly have been led to believe that I caused needless delay and resultant expense in getting the lawsuit settled. The facts, however, refute this nonsense and are not in dispute.
1. Just days before filing suit I spoke to him and to Ken Rigsbee at a public forum and told them that they were breaking the law and ignoring our own governing documents. I was told ”It’s a judgment call.” Very bad judgment.
2. A few days after filing suit I received a letter from Gray & Becker, the attorneys for the Board, announcing their appearance in the case. My immediate response, in a letter which was later sent to hundreds of CCHOA homeowners, was to offer to begin settlement talks immediately in an effort to avoid taking the dispute to court and eliminate the costs of litigation. The Board refused.
3. Throughout the course of the litigation I maintained my offer to meet with and attempt to settle the issues. The Board refused.
4. The mediation which finally ended the litigation was conducted at MY insistence. The Board actually had their attorneys file a motion to AVOID mediation of the lawsuit. I had to file a response to compel them to do what I had been asking for all along. Their motion and my response are on file at the courthouse. You can look them up.
5. There was a period during the fall of last year when Gray & Becker tried, unsuccessfully, to contact me. I was involved at the time in litigation of three different trials set back-to-back on the Travis County jury docket. Afterwards, I contacted Rick Gray, explained the circumstances and offered my apology for not getting back to him sooner. He explained to me that his clients were finally ready to take the case to trial and that he was trying to coordinate the setting with me. The delay (which was not months long) resulted in NO additional expense and cost the homeowners NOTHING.
6. On the subject of expense, I paid for all of the expenses which were incurred in my effort to make the Board abide by our governing documents and obey Texas law. This amounted to thousands of dollars for which I was entitled to be reimbursed had the case actually gone to trial. I did not even require the Board to pay me back what I actually spent.
7. In addition, had the case gone to trial, I would have been entitled to receive my attorney’s fees from the Board. By the time the Board set the case for trial I had already enjoined their scheme to conduct an illegal election and had successfully enforced our covenants against the Board’s actions regarding access to documents, publication of voting lists, and the counting of votes at elections. In short, I had already prevailed and was entitled to attorney’s fees. When we arrived at the mediation I provided them with the pleadings which I had filed earlier. In that document, which is part of the record at the courthouse, I finally did seek my attorney’s fees as well as damages against individual members of the Board for self-dealing and violations of the Board’s fiduciary duty to the homeowners. I informed them that should they not settle the case I was now prepared to make them pay not only my expenses, but now my attorney’s fees and the damages allowable under Texas law as well. They settled.
8. What did I get in return? Their agreement to allow the homeowners to vote on the bylaw amendments and decide for themselves how they wanted their association run. I gave up my rights to over $100,000 in my own fees and expenses. It’s all part of the record. You can look it up.
It does not surprise me in the least that Jim O’Reilly waited until he saw me leave the last meeting before he made the remarks about me that he did.
-By Bill Gammon