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Lionstar: Sanchez withdraws Escobar ethics complaint

Our friend Jaime Abeytia over at The Lionstar Blog has broken the news that District Clerk Gilbert Sanchez has dropped his ethics complaint against County Commissioner Veronica Escobar. [NPT background: Embattled Sanchez files ethics complaint against Escobar]

In somewhat related news, Abeytia reports that Sanchez will announce for re-election on Monday. He also has a new picture of Sanchez with this note: Sanchez recently suffered a home accident (from our conversation he seems pretty accident prone) and he suffered a large gash on his forehead requiring several stitches. Sanchez was pretty cool about it and let me take this picture of him, since most of the other pics are older images.

Gilbert Sanchez

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

September 4, 2009 at 1:25 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

5 Responses

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  1. Did that gash on his head make him come to his senses?
    Oh, I guess not–he is still running for office again.


    September 4, 2009 at 3:41 pm

  2. Stetson Law Review

    Winter, 2008

    37 Stetson L. Rev. 741


    Greg Brown, the Santa Rosa County Property Appraiser, was the subject of two ethics complaints filed by political opponents. The complaints accused Brown of committing corrupt acts to gain political support for his re-election campaign. The Florida Commission on Ethics (Commission) dismissed each complaint based on a lack of probable cause. Brown then submitted a claim for costs and attorney’s fees under Section 112.317(8) of the Florida Statutes (now Section 112.317(7)). An administrative law judge (ALJ) determined that Brown’s accusers failed to independently examine the veracity of their complaints and recommended to the Commission that Brown be awarded the costs and attorney’s fees incurred in his defense. The Commission denied Brown’s claim because the evidence failed to satisfy the actual malice standard required in New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254 (1964). On remand, the ALJ’s recommendation concluded that the evidence failed to satisfy the actual malice standard in Sullivan. The Commission adopted the ALJ’s recommendation. On appeal, the First District Court of Appeal reversed.


    Section 112.317(8) of the Florida Statutes permits a public official to recover costs plus attorney’s fees in the defense of an ethics complaint if three elements are satisfied. First, the complaint must be made with malicious intent to harm the official’s character. Second, the complainant must act with knowledge that the allegations were false or with reckless disregard for their falsity. Third, the statements must be material to the complaint. The complainants argued that Section 112.317(8) applies the Sullivan [*742] standard of “actual malice,” which requires clear and convincing evidence that the statement was made with knowledge of its probable falsity. The court disagreed, finding that Section 112.317(8) did not require application of the “actual malice” standard.

    The court first reasoned that the absence of the term “actual malice” from Section 112.317(8) was a clear indication that the Legislature did not intend to incorporate the Sullivan standard. The court buttressed that finding by taking into account that the Legislature had expressly used the term in a separate Florida Statute. Section 112.317(8) also does not require the specific findings and burden of proof espoused by Sullivan. Moreover, the court declined to forcibly incorporate the Sullivan standard because Section 112.317(8) is unambiguous.

    The court also noted that the “actual malice” standard was designed to protect speech critical of government officials and therefore should not extend to the recovery of costs and attorney’s fees in Section 112.317(8).

    Carl Starr

    September 4, 2009 at 6:26 pm

  3. Damm that’s an ugly gash on his forhead. Somebody musta open up a can of ass-whipping on him. We recently had a board member at Canutillo ISD with a beautiful shinner to his eye. You guys have to learn to be calm and collected.

    Art Gallegos

    September 10, 2009 at 12:22 am

  4. i think that is from a scolding of luther’s from the past. the gash, that is.


    September 10, 2009 at 7:17 am


    Civil Records Detail Results

    In the COUNTY COURT NO.3
    El Paso County, Texas
    Cause No. 2009-5018


    Filed on 11/16/2009
    Case Type: OTHER CIVIL
    Current Status: Unfinished

    Events and Orders of the Court
    11/16/2009 PLN ORIGI PETI

    Carl Starr

    November 17, 2009 at 8:40 am

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