Dallas County

Citibank Drops Suit Against DA Craig Watkins, Who Will Agree Not to Sue Them Either

Last week was a bit embarrassing for Craig Watkins as his personal debt to Citibank became a public matter when The Dallas Morning News reported that he owed more than $15,000 in credit card bills, the latest in a history of financial whoopsies. The district attorney explained to Unfair Park that he took a significant salary cut when he was elected to public office and that his finances caught up with him. He said the matter would soon be resolved -- and it almost is, pending his signature on an agreement between Watkins and the bank.

The proposed aragement essentially boils down to this: I won't sue you if you don't sue me.

Citibank filed a non-suit that puts the case to rest, and the bank will automatically deduct monthly payments from Watkins's bank account. As long as his account stays on the positive side of the ledger, he stays in the clear as this matter is concerned. Citibank's notice of non-suit reads, "Plaintiff and Defendant previously entered into a settlement agreement concerning the subject matter of this lawsuit, and wish to continue under their prior settlement agreement."

So, it's business as usual after a blip of a public spectacle for which Watkins might have considered suing Citibank, except that an addendum to the original settlement agreement stipulates that he "releases and discharges" the bank "from all claims of any kind" related to this matter. He hasn't signed the addendum yet, but tells Unfair Park he plans to.

"I've pretty much decided I'm going to sign it just to put it behind me," he says.

The suit, Watkins says, arose from a mistake that occurred when Citibank sold some of its debt and lost track of the repayment plan the parties had arranged. He calls the whole mess "a distraction," and one that he's glad to put to rest.