BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) - A former candidate for Brazos County District Clerk has filed a lawsuit against the person who won the position. Gabriel Garcia's attorney calls it a "sore loser" lawsuit.
Margaret Meece has accused Gabriel Garcia of a number of campaign violations including accepting illegal contributions from three corporations.
It also accuses Garcia of telling employees at the District Clerk's Office they needed more training, and that they would have to vote for him in the election if they wanted to keep their jobs.
At least one employee in the office, who asked to remain anonymous, tells News 3's Rusty Surette that Garcia never did this -- and said the claims are a lie.
"It has not only me, but others in the office worried that Garcia will come and clean house because of this," said the employee.
The lawsuit seeks $100,000, but not more than $200,000, of damages, penalties, and court costs.
Garcia's attorney responded to the lawsuit, calling the claims baseless, and vows a vigorous defense of the allegations against his client.
The following statement was issued this week by Garcia's attorney, Gaines West:
Gabriel Garcia, Brazos County District Clerk-Elect, has retained Gaines West to respond to the “sore loser” lawsuit just filed by Margaret Meece, Garcia’s opponent in the most recent election.
West said Margaret Meece, and her attorney husband Patrick Meece, are trying to sully the good name of his client with baseless threats and half-truths. West noted that the Meeces’ are well known in the community for bringing baseless claims in the courthouse. West said he is anxious to get into the courtroom to expose the Meeces’ true intent and write the final chapter in Margaret Meece’s election loss.
West said elections should be determined by the voters, not in lawsuits brought by angry losers. West pledged a vigorous defense of the salacious allegations brought against his client. West concluded by saying that bullies don’t win fights, the truth finds them out.
Meece lost to Garcia by 146 votes and requested a recount on the grounds that final results were separated by less than 10% and a power outage occurred at the Brazos County Elections Administration Office on Election Day.
According to the lawsuit filed, "Garcia accepted illegal contributions from not less than three corporations. The corporations involved include Boss-Chem. Corp., Valley Valve & Pipe Supply Company Inc., K. D. Timmons Inc., Mobil and Alina & Inia Inc. Exhibits XIII.A-D."
It also claims Garcia accepted a campaign contribution from a deceased person.
"Garcia accepted a campaign contribution from K. D. Timmons. Mr. Timmons died in February 2006. This campaign contribution was either
made by an individual who is deceased or by the corporation discussed above. If the illegal campaign contribution was made by the corporation, Garcia’s reports evidence deliberate deception," the lawsuit states.
Meece has requested a jury trial.