For more than two years now, I have urged Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott to intervene in a lawsuit against a district attorney (now former district attorney) who allegedly stole a small fortune from an elderly lady and her estate. John Paschall was the colorful (i.e., racist, alcoholic, obnoxious, and derelict) district attorney of Robertson County until he was defeated in 2012, and he still serves as executor of the estate of Marium Oscar, who was the last survivor of the Jewish community in Calvert when she died in 2004. You may recall that Paschall asked a judge for a restraining order to keep me blogging about the Oscar estate during his reelection campaign (the judge refused the request).
A lot has happened since then, including a recent decision by the Texas Rangers to open a criminal investigation of Paschall’s handling of the Oscar estate. But none of that is any thanks to Abbott. According to the Texas Supreme Court, “it is the certain duty of the Attorney General to invoke the powers inherent in our courts to prevent an abuse of a charitable trust…” Lokey v. Texas Methodist Foundation, 479 S.W.2d 260, 265 (Tex. 1972), but for two years Abbott has done nothing.
Ms. Oscar’s will bequeathed her entire estate to a trust, and in a July 5, 2011 letter to Abbott, I warned of my suspicion that Ms. Oscar’s trust was a charitable trust. I could not confirm that at the time, however, because Paschall refused to release a copy of the trust agreement.
My clients and I fought Paschall all the way to the Court of Appeals, and a February 7, 2013 opinion from that court finally forced him to release a copy of the trust agreement. Sure enough, Ms. Oscar’s trust was a charitable trust. According to the trust agreement, Ms. Oscar’s money and property were to be used to create a museum in a building that Ms. Oscar owned in downtown Calvert. One problem was immediately obvious: Paschall had already sold the building, and he did not (and does not) want to explain what he did with the money. … Read more