Hearing Set in Lawsuit Against Andrews County Judge

By Camaron Abundes   
NewsWest 9

ANDREWS-  Nearly four months after Andrews County voters approved a 75 million dollar bond to fund an expansion out at the Waste Control Specialists low-level radio active waste disposal site, the election isn't fully resolved. Back in May, Melodye and Peggy Pryor of the group 'No Bonds for Billionaires' filed a lawsuit against Andrews County Judge Richard Dolgener claiming hundreds voted illegally in the May Election.

Next Tuesday, a Judge is expected to weigh in on the case in the 109th District Court in Andrews. WCS Vice President of Community Relations, Tom Jones III said the voters should not be disenfranchised because of "silly technicalities." Jones filed a motion to intervene in the hearing, he said in order to take part in the proceedings next Tuesday.

"It's probably a good time to move on forward and I am looking forward to the hearing being over," Rick Doyle of Andrews said he's ready for the County to cash in on the 75 million dollar investment bond passed by a razor thin margin back in the Spring.

Lawyers for the Contestants claim in the suit to have identified more than 100 illegally cast votes, "including votes of persons who were not registered voters, persons who voted without signing the voter roster, persons who were registered as voters without affirming their citizenship, including persons born in Canada and Mexico, persons who did not sign their voter registration applications, persons whose voter registration applications were signed by persons other than the person who signed in the on the election day."

"Yes I'd definitely like to see it over as soon as possible," Resident Hubert McNeal said.

Back in May, the numbers 642 For 639 against were written on a large wall at the Courthouse.

"I think it's a good idea to go through all the votes, I mean for us to have such a close election tells us we are split in half and there's a chance that maybe it goes the other way and it shouldn't have," Deborah Sutphen said she has followed the contested election. "I watched it whenever the vote went through, because I was against it. I was hoping things would work out and it wouldn't pass. I wasn't sure I wanted them to borrow that much money."

Others want to see the project move forward in order to see a return on the County backed bonds.

"I think it will bring some finances to the City of Andrews, so I am all for it," Doyle said.

Following the May Election, Waste Control Specialists filed an ethics complaint against Austin Based Director of the SEED Coalition, Karen Hadden, whose group funded 'No Bonds for Billionaires."
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality approved Waste Control's Specialists application for a low-level radio active waste license.

County Judge Richard Dolgener's office staff deferred NewsWest 9's questions to the County Clerk's office. Judge Dolgener has not commented since the suit was filed.