Bad Signal

Page 5 of 5

"She got pretty close to accepting it, but she didn't," the daughter says now. "She is still in denial."

When Paula continued to refuse to sign away the licenses, Dana assaulted her, the daughter alleged in a police report and a civil lawsuit she filed the next month. She came away with scratches and bruises.

In court, Dana's common-law defense attempts took the biggest pounding.In late May 1999, Paula filed suit in Dallas County alleging rape, invasion of privacy, assault, intentional infliction of emotional distress, breach of contract, wrongful eviction, and wrongful termination -- and requested that a receiver and injunction be put in place to prevent the Angles from dissolving the business.

Instead of hiring a lawyer to defend the case, Dana Angle appeared on her own behalf or in the company of people her daughter suspects she knew from her far-right affiliations, and filled the court file with bizarre paperwork.

Maneuvering into position for the legal kill, Paula's lawyer dropped Dana Angle from the suit, and within two months obtained an $11.5 million judgment against Randy. On the run from the law, he never appeared and lost by default.

Not wanting to turn her mother out of her house, Paula attempted to negotiate with Dana Angle a settlement that would allow her to keep the Rockwall house, a mobile home that had been parked on the Van Zandt County ranch, a 5-year-old pickup truck, $12,000, two dogs, and a paint horse. In return, she was to release all the claims she had loaded into the court file -- and state records -- that purported to hold Paula and her lawyer liable for $12 billion. It was called, in the gobbledygook favored by the common-law folks, a "notice of acceptance for value and exempt from levy," and read, "I, Dana Edna Angle, accept for value of $12 billion your commercial presentment."

Asked what that meant during a deposition that fall, Dana said, "That means I hold you accountable for the things that have been done for $12 billion."

"Where did you get the number $12 billion?" Collier asked.

"I guess the same way people come up with $11 million for lawsuit judgments," Dana replied.

Dana Angle agreed to the settlement, according to a videotape made of the September 1999 deposition. Yet, for reasons nobody can explain, she declined to sign it and, like her husband, went underground.

All that was left for Paula to do was liquidate the business through the court-appointed receiver, James Chiles, who is also an expert in the local communications business.

For the bulk of Angle's licenses, there was one obvious buyer. Since the late '80s, Nextel had been buying up hundreds of local operators in the two-way radio business in order to obtain airwaves on which to expand its cellular phone system. The 800-MHz range, one of several available to two-way radio operators, is also suitable for cellular phones. Using digital technology, their capacity could be vastly increased, several operators in the business explained.

By this spring, Chiles had completed the sale of Angle's frequencies to Nextel and raised another $300,000 by selling another set of frequencies to Delta Communications.

Paula is now remarried and raising five children -- ages three months to 9 years -- at a rural ranch whose location she'd rather not discuss. "Nobody comes up my road; I'd like to keep it like that," she says. She and her new husband had their own child, and each brought two into the marriage.

She says she's using her new wealth to bring some stability to her family -- something she never felt before. "My husband and I have a normal relationship, and I can see now my parents didn't," she says. "Right now I'm getting counseling to get that taken care of. I have a lot to get behind me."

KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Thomas Korosec
Contact: Thomas Korosec

Latest Stories