Last week, just as city officials were heading out the door for their extended, city manager-ordered vacation, Assistant City Attorney Charles Estee filed The City's Official Response to that suit contesting the vote that paved the way for the off-premise sale of beer and wine citywide. It's brief -- but a few pages -- and follows on the other side, but the gist of the response is: Say what now?
First off, says the response, real-estater Marcus Wood and Dallas Area Rapid Transit board member Jerry Christian (who was appointed to his position by the city council in 2007) -- who are named as the plaintiffs in the suit filed by attorney Andy Siegel -- shouldn't have sued the entire council and City Secretary Deborah Watkins, for starters. Writes Estee, they should "be ordered to replead" and name only Mayor Tom as the defendant.
But more to the point, Estee writes that the suit isn't specific concerning the conditions that led to the filing of the suit to begin with: "The failure to identify the conditions precedent fail to give the Defendants adequate notice of the allegations against them." And, all that asides, says the response: The city denies "each and every, all and singular, the material allegations contained in" the suit filed on November 12.
Update at 2:17 p.m. First Assistant City Attorney Chris Bowers tells Unfair Park that, quite simply, the city finds Siegel's pleadings "too vague," as in: "Until they provide more detail, we don't know our position" as to whether the plaintiffs complied with all conditions precedent before filing suit. City Attorney Tom Perkins adds: He's not sure if or when the judge will order Siegel to replead. "Normally a judge would expect us to confer with the other side and see if they will agree to replead voluntarily, and if they don't the judge will order or deny the request." He says city attorneys have not yet met with Siegel to discuss the complaint.