Former Harris County Treasurer Orlando Sanchez is “well-known for his innovative and fiscally responsible leadership, keeping a close eye on the taxpayer’s money, ensuring that it is not wasted.”
That’s the way Sanchez describes himself on his personal website (orlandosanchez.com), but a lawsuit he filed earlier this year in Harris County District Court, and lost, suggests that he may not always be so fiscally responsible and may occasionally take his eyes off the taxpayer’s money, allowing it to be wasted on frivolous litigation.
Late last year, during a press conference at Northwest Mall across from the Houston Independent School District headquarters, Sanchez expressed his opinion that the HISD should be taken over and run by our state government.
Steve Striever expressed his opposition to Sanchez’s proposal by tossing a cup of water on him. Sanchez responded to the dihydrogen monoxide “assault” by suing Striever for one million dollars in compensation for “damages” and his alleged mental anguish.
“Defendant’s conduct was outrageous, malicious, or otherwise morally culpable conduct that should be penalized by having exemplary damages awarded against him,” Sanchez asserted in his suit.
Maybe Striever’s conduct was outrageous and malicious, but how does a light dowsing with water constitute a million-dollar outrage or seven figures’ worth of malice?
Apparently, it doesn’t – at least not in the opinion of the judge who granted Striever’s motion to dismiss under the Texas Citizens Participation Act, which protects free speech.
Striever apologized for his behavior and even offered to pay Sanchez $200 to cover the cost of having his suit cleaned. Two hundred dollars would have more than paid for that. In fact, it would have covered the cost of a whole new suit at a discount outlet or one on clearance at a more upscale store if that’s what the tony Orlando preferred.
But Sanchez pressed on with his suit, wasting the taxpayers’ money in the process, and wound up having to pay Striever $7,643 in attorney’s fees.
That’s one way to get rid of liquid assets.