Kemah mayor in legal dispute over billboard on his property

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Apr. 25, 2011, 9:48am

GALVESTON � Kemah Mayor Matthew D. Wiggins Jr. and Clear Channel Outdoor Inc. are embroiled in a legal dispute over a billboard.

Wiggins claims Clear Channel is trying to remove one of two billboards on his property and seeks a temporary restraining order and temporary injunction from Galveston County Court at Law No. 2 Judge Barbara Roberts.

Wiggins's lawsuit was filed April 13.

According to court papers, the Wiggins acquired a parcel of land along Highway 146 in Clear Lake Shores. He assumed ownership when the tract's previous owner, Pham & Do, experienced a foreclosure.

Pham & Do had entered into a leasing agreement with Clear Channel, which was allowed to use and operate two billboards on the land.

The suit explains that Wiggins and Clear Channel never had any contact and Wiggins did not receive payment in regards to the structures.

Clear Channel continued to operate the two billboards since last May when the mayor took control of the property.

Wiggins says he received a letter from the defendant informing him that one billboard was in need of repairs last March. The letter also stated a lack of agreement would lead to its removal.

Work crews, however, arrived to dismantle the billboard.

The suit alludes that Clear Channel's alleged actions were an affront to a Clear Lake Shores city ordinance barring the replacement of a billboard once it is taken down.

"The ownership of the billboard is a unique property interest and the proposed action of the defendants threatens to destroy the value of that interest," the original petition says.

"No other adequate remedy is available to alleviate the harm if the billboard is wrongfully removed."

Attorney Sam Finegan of League City is representing the plaintiff.

Cause No. 65,088

More News