Fri July 8, 2011
Lawsuit Against Comptroller's F1 Deal Officially Withdrawn
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.