Lawsuit Against Comptroller's F1 Deal Officially Withdrawn

Jul 8, 2011

The lawsuit against Texas State Comptroller Susan Combs over a deal to subsidize an F1 racetrack was officially dropped today.  That was not a surprise to plaintiffs, who said a decision by District Court Judge Rhonda Hurley the week before left them with no way to move forward.

"We knew that we would [withdraw the case]  last Friday when Judge Hurley ruled that she would not grant a restraining order to stop Comptroller Combs from writing the check for $25 million dollars sometime later this month to [Formula One President] Bernard Ecclestone," plaintiff Richard Viktorin told KUT News. 

"The taxpayers  in the State of Texas can only prevent in this kind of suit a payment. They cannot, once it's happened. Once the cash is gone, they lose their standing," he said.

Bill Aleshire, the lawyer representing the plaintiffs, said the case was "non-suited without prejudice." That means the case can be "re-filed up until the time Comptroller Combs actually cuts the $25 million check to the F1 promoters," according to a press release from Aleshire.

Comptroller Combs had maintained that the F1 deal fell within the rules governing economic development subsidies in the state of Texas.