An online petition is going around aimed at firing Port Aransas City Manager David Parsons.
It all stems from a lawsuit the City filed against a developer.
"He's the city manager and this is a home rule city, and he virtually has all the power so he has the power to stop it," said Roger Powers, the man behind the petition. "He has the power to pay it and he has the power to move it forward."
Powers said he was so upset about how one local developer has been treated by the City of Port Aransas that he started an online petition to fire Parsons.
"Anybody that is following down the path to sue me to shut up needs to be removed, resign and leave City Hall," said Julie Smith Shodrak, the developer who was sued by the City of Port Aransas.
The city sued Shodrak back in July of last year after a meeting she had with Mayor Charles Bujan. She had used her phone to record that meeting. After the meeting she said she had forgotten her phone and it ended up recording several minutes of a closed-door meeting that the mayor had with the city manager.
Shodrack said she let council members know about the comments she heard on the tape, supposedly about her and her husband. She said two days later, the City sued her over the recording.
"And that's to cover up two minutes and seven seconds of lewd, disparaging, disrespecting comments made about me and my husband," Shodrak said.
"The issue is she illegally recorded a private conversation, which is against the law in the state of Texas and the United States," Mayor Charles Bujan said. "Doesn't matter what was said or who said it. None of that counts."
Bujan said the suit was eventually dropped because there wasn't time to continue on with it because of Hurricane Harvey.
"Had she had gone along with the no suit, she wouldn't have had those attorney fees, but she continues to pursue this because she has something against the City," Bujan said.
Shodrak said she doesn't have anything against the City but did admit that she had a number of issues with the City for the two years leading up to the suit. She said that once the City filed suit against her, she hired an attorney and they had billed some $53,000 in legal fees before the City decided to drop the suit.
"I want change. I want to be reimbursed all of my legal fees. I feel there should be sanctions involved to prevent somebody from, anybody, ever thinking they can file something like this ever again," Shadrock said.
A judge agreed and ordered that the City pay, but the City is refusing to do so.
"On behalf of my citizens I will not tolerate someone breaking the law, because when you break the law with the mayor and you break the law with City Hall, you've broken the law with the City of Port Aransas and the people of Port Aransas," Bujan said. "I will go all the way to the Texas Supreme Court with this case."
The mayor admitted that the City may have already spent $40,000-$50,000 on the fight, which promises to become even more expensive as it works it's way through the legal system.
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