Appellate Judges

Shack’s Insomnia: Filing Baseless Lawsuits to Stop Foreclosure When It’s Ricardo “Kickbacks” Aguirre

Trustee Davila, Lopez, and Leticia Ablaza demanded that HISD cancel its contract with MetroClean, and award it to Accel Building Maintenance.

Ricardo Aguirre vs. Nationstar Mortgage, LLC DBA Mr. Cooper and Wilmington Trust National Assoc.

JUL 31, 2023 | REPUBLISHED BY LIT: AUG 5, 2023
AUG 5, SEP 11, 2023

Above is the date LIT Last updated this article.

In Re: Order of Foreclosure Concerning 4306 Rothe Drive Missouri City, Tx 77459 Under Tex.R.Civ.P.736 Petitioner: Wilmington Trust

OCT 4, 2022 | REPUBLISHED BY LIT: AUG 5, 2023
JUN 13, 2023

Order to Proceed with Notice of Foreclosure Sale and Foreclosure Sale

Riverstone Homeowners Association, Inc. vs Ricardo Aguirre

DEC 11, 2019 | REPUBLISHED BY LIT: AUG 5, 2023
OCT 3, 2022

Order of Non-Suit

Ricardo Aguirre, vs. Nationstar Mortgage, L.L.C. DBA Mr. Cooper

JUn 4, 2018 | REPUBLISHED BY LIT: AUG 5, 2023
MAY 28, 2019

Judgment Notice Mailed/Rule 306A3

Aguirre v. Nationstar Mortgage LLC


District Court, S.D. Texas

OCT 31, 2013 | REPUBLISHED BY LIT: AUG 5, 2023
AUG 5, 2023

Above is the date LIT Last updated this article.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER granting 4 MOTION to Dismiss ;

Plaintiffs’ claims DISMISSED with prejudice.

(Signed by Judge Ewing Werlein, Jr)

U.S. District Court
CIVIL DOCKET FOR CASE #: 4:13-cv-03199

Aguirre et al v. Nationstar Mortgage LLC
Assigned to: Judge Ewing Werlein, Jr
Demand: $50,000,000

Case in other court:  434th JDC of Fort Ben County, Texas, 13-dcv-209389

Cause: 28:1331 Fed. Question: Breach of Contract

Date Filed: 10/31/2013
Date Terminated: 01/13/2014
Jury Demand: Plaintiff
Nature of Suit: 220 Real Property: Foreclosure
Jurisdiction: Federal Question
Ricardo Aguirre represented by Ray L Shackelford
State Bar Information
1406 Southmore Blvd
Houston, TX 77004
Fax: 713-520-8192
Elizabeth Aguirre represented by Ray L Shackelford
(See above for address)
Nationstar Mortgage LLC represented by Kurt Lance Krolikowski
Locke Lord LLP
600 Travis
JPMorgan Chase Tower
Suite 2800
Houston, TX 77002
Fax: 713-223-3717


Date Filed # Docket Text
10/31/2013 1 NOTICE OF REMOVAL from 434th JDC, Fort Bend Cty, Texas, case number 13-dcv-209389 (Filing fee $ 400 receipt number 0541-12297234) filed by Nationstar Mortgage LLC. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A, # 2 Exhibit B.1, # 3 Exhibit B.2, # 4 Exhibit B.3, # 5 Exhibit B.4, # 6 Exhibit B.5, # 7 Exhibit B.6, # 8 Exhibit C)(Krolikowski, Kurt) (Entered: 10/31/2013)
11/04/2013 2 ORDER for Initial Pretrial and Scheduling Conference and Order to Disclose Interested Persons. Initial Conference set for 3/14/2014 at 02:30 PM in Room 11521 before Judge Ewing Werlein, Jr(Signed by Judge Ewing Werlein, Jr) Parties notified.(wbostic, 4) (Entered: 11/04/2013)
11/19/2013 3 CERTIFICATE OF INTERESTED PARTIES by Nationstar Mortgage LLC, filed.(Krolikowski, Kurt) (Entered: 11/19/2013)
11/21/2013 4 MOTION to Dismiss by Nationstar Mortgage LLC, filed. Motion Docket Date 12/12/2013. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Exhibit A, # 2 Exhibit Exhibit B, # 3 Proposed Order Order Granting MTD, # 4 Appendix Appendix)(Krolikowski, Kurt) (Entered: 11/21/2013)
01/13/2014 5 MEMORANDUM AND ORDER granting 4 MOTION to Dismiss ; Plaintiffs’ claims DISMISSED with prejudice.(Signed by Judge Ewing Werlein, Jr) Parties notified.(kcarr, 4) (Entered: 01/13/2014)
01/13/2014 6 FINAL JUDGMENT. Case terminated on 1/13/2014(Signed by Judge Ewing Werlein, Jr) Parties notified.(kcarr, 4) (Entered: 01/13/2014)



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08/05/2023 06:58:31

Upon Further Investigation, TEA Appears Ready to Oust the HISD Board

AUG 9, 2019 | REPUBLISHED BY LIT: AUG 5, 2023
AUG 5, 2023

Above is the date LIT Last updated this article.

Looks like the Texas Education Agency is about to put the Houston ISD board out of our misery.

Unless it asterisks its findings and finds more reason for delay, the state seems poised to give the boot to that rambunctious group of elected officials — some of them liars, meddlers and gold diggers it appears.

In what should be absolutely no surprise to anyone, TEA has investigated the H-Town Nine and found them wanting.

Its investigative report recommends that the district’s accreditation rating be lowered, that a conservator be appointed and that the board be replaced.

“Based on the findings, the SIU [Special Investigations Unit] will recommend to the Commissioner of Education that the accreditation status of the district be lowered, a conservator be appointed, and a Board of Managers be installed in accordance with Tex. Educ. Code §39.057(d) to replace the existing Board of Trustees due to the HISD Board of Trustees’ demonstrated inability to appropriately govern, inability to operate within the scope of their authority, circumventing the authority of the Superintendent, and inability to ensure proper contract procurement laws are followed.”

In other words, the TEA seems to be saying these trustees just can’t follow the law.

What is surprising is the length and breath of the findings. As expected, TEA says yes, five trustees (Diana Davila, Sergio Lira, Holly Maria Flynn Vilaseca, Elizabeth Santos and Anne Sung) violated the Open Meetings Act by operating a “walking quorum” — three people in, another two after them — in their secret meeting with former superintendent Abe Saavedra who they tried to bring back as superintendent in an October 11, 2018 vote and oust Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan.

And by the way, shouldn’t veteran administrator Saavedra have known better than to try to back door Lathan?

Was that ethical?

Certainly with all his experience he should have known he shouldn’t have been meeting with those board members like that.

By law, trustees aren’t supposed to operate that way.

Matters involving board decisions are supposed to be discussed by the whole board and move on from there. Not spring it as a surprise on the public and their fellow board members.

Making matters worse, in their one on ones with the TEA investigators the trustees couldn’t keep their stories straight, contradicting each other on who was with whom and when.

Trustees, of course, have been given a few days to respond to the TEA report. They have until August 15 to do so.

Lathan doesn’t exactly come out of the interviews the TEA conducted covered with glory.

Some of those same trustees said she not only ignored any of their wishes, but allowed a community activist who had verbally attacked some board members not only to continue to come to meetings but wouldn’t step in when another trustee appointed him to an HISD board against the wishes of the chair.

Still, if TEA’s investigation is correct – and there’s no reason at this point to think it’s not – trustees (and this looks like pretty much all of them so let’s add in Jolanda Jones, Sue Deigaard, Wanda Adams and Rhonda Skillern-Jones – overwhelmed her staff with their requests/demands and regularly circumvented her completely when she – not they – is supposed the one in charge of administering the school district.

Meddling in school affairs — a time honored problem in HISD that the board was supposed to have stopped —continued pretty much unabated the TEA found.

The highlight had to be when Board President Diana Davila went into a school without telling the principal, stepped into the middle of the new High School For Law and Justice being built and ordered a wall they’d put in, taken out.

And they did it! At a cost of $20,000!

That same Davila also leaned on vendors and worked to sway contracts, the TEA said. At her side was husband Abel Davila who according to what the TEA was told:

“An HISD senior administrator was directed to remove a contract for the construction of Austin High School in December 2016.

The HISD senior administrator stated Trustee Davila asked him to remove the Pepper Lawson contract from the January board agenda after the procurement process had occurred.

Moreover, Trustee Davila and her husband told the administrator that they wanted a firm out of Dallas, wanted him to make it happen, and threatened him with his job if he did not do it. ”

At another point the TEA reports:

“In August of 2016, Trustee Davila met with a HISD senior administrator at Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen along with her husband, Abel Davila, Art Lopez, and Leticia Ablaza.

The administrator stated that the nature of the meeting was to strategize a way to get bond contracts cancelled and re-bid.

Moreover, the administrator told SIU investigators Trustee Davila and her husband, along with Mr. Lopez and Ms. Ablaza, focused on the custodial contract with MetroClean.

Trustee Davila, Art Lopez, and Leticia Ablaza demanded that HISD cancel its contract with MetroClean, and award it to Accel Building Maintenance (ABM Inc.).

The administrator responded, “ABM Inc. did not have a good reputation with the district and therefore would not be considered as a vendor.”

To which Trustee Davila replied, “It will happen if we want it to happen.”

No. 1 what the hell was Abel Davila doing involved in HISD business?

And check your history books kids, because this is the same man who was former chair of the board of the then-troubled Houston Community College before a surprise announcement in 2009 that he would not run for re-election.

At that time there were a lot of allegations swirling that both Davilas had pushed to get jobs and contracts for friends, family and supporters.

Davila was far from the only trustee cited.

For instance, according to the TEA, trustee Adams waded into contract negotiations.

“As mentioned in the memo drafted by former Compliance Officer Debi Fincher, Trustee Adams provided non-public information to a sub-contractor affiliated with the vendor in an ongoing RFP. Unbeknownst to the district, that sub-contractor was a colleague of Trustee Adams which could lead to the conclusion that Trustee Adams was pushing for the contract to go in favor of that vendor.

This conduct violates Tex. Educ. Code§44.031(a)(1) because this was a board member who interfered with the competitive bidding process.

This conduct also violates CAA (LOCAL) because the board member shared confidential information to a vendor, during the RFP
process, breaking the Code of Silence.”

Unfortunately there’s more, lots more.

For instance, the job order contracts that got then HISD Chief Auditor Richard Patton run out of his job in 2016 is referenced.

That’s when they were neatly dividing up contracted work in amounts less than $500,000 so it didn’t have to come up for a board vote.

For everyone who cries local control and free elections, well the bunch in there right now is an unfortunate testament to what can go wrong. Who knows if the state will come up with a board that’s any better. It’s hard to believe it could be worse.

You can read it and weep.

Or you could do something. Think of the children. Because in all this mess it kind of looks like they’ve been left out of the equation.

HISD trustee often met with vendors, choosy about gifts of liquor, restaurants

NOV 4, 2016 | REPUBLISHED BY LIT: AUG 5, 2023
AUG 5, 2023

Above is the date LIT Last updated this article.

Long-time former HISD trustee Larry Marshall would routinely meet with vendors for the Houston Independent School District — vendors who would hire a friend of Marshall as a consultant, who then kicked back 75 percent of the consultant fee back to Marshall, lawyers argued in Federal Court Friday.

The consultant — Joyce Moss Clay, who Marshall described as a “special friend” — kept a tally that was shown in court that allegedly shows as much as 75 percent from vendors that Marshall had meetings with flowing to the trustee who served from 1997 to 2013.

One year, in 2009, that kickback total came to $59,175, court exhibits show.

See that document here.

Marshall is in court in a civil case. Construction company Gil Ramirez Group filed a suit against in 2010 Marshall after the firm lost a contract with HISD, alleging it was because they failed to pay a bribe to Marshall.

Moss Clay was not in court but explained the reason for the checks cut to Marshall in a 2012 deposition played in court.

“To be my mentor, to be my friend, to be my familial brother,” she said. “It was just my choice,”

Marshall’s calendar shows he often met with the HISD vendor clients of Joyce Moss Clay,

including Linebarger, a law firm that collects delinquent taxes,

Fort Bend Mechanical, a construction firm,


Accel Building Maintenance, which performs janitorial and other work, as well as other firms.

At times he would meet at local restaurants, such as Triple A on Airline Drive, records show.

Other times he would meet with vendors at spots that were a little more tony, like the Four Seasons in downtown Houston.

He would meet at his office, too, such as on August 10, 2008 with a notation showing he met with Joyce Moss Clay (JMC) and Accel, owned by Ricardo Aguirre. In the box noting the meeting he also wrote ‘contract’ with a check mark next to it.

See the calendar entry here.

“Does that check mark signify that you accomplished that contract between JMC and Accel,”

plaintiff’s attorney Kelly Prather asked Marshall.

Marshall’s answer was a touch surreal.

“I think I meant to write ‘contact,'”

Marshall answered from the stand.

“That check mark signifies that Ricardo Aguirre was suffering from alienation of affection.”

Regardless, Accel hired Joyce Moss Clay and some of that money flowed to Marshall, records in evidence show.

Marshall’s answers weren’t always so odd.

He forcefully denied any wrongdoing.

“I have never received a check from a vendor, other than a campaign contribution,”

he said.

“I have no idea where the money came from. I was working for Joyce Moss Clay.”

As far as all the checks he received from Moss Clay, Marshall said they were a “reward for services rendered.”

There are no reports or detail of what the services were.

But in addition to meeting with vendors — he would vote for them, too.

“You voted on behalf of those same clients — Joyce Moss Clay clients — when they had business before the board,” Prather said.

Marshall’s answer: “I voted the recommendation of the administration.”

He also strongly denied an earlier allegation that he was given cash in a Jack Daniels gift box on a Christmas Eve by David ‘Pete’ Medford, owner of Fort Bend Mechanical.

Marshall acknowledged getting the liquor — but also said it was a lesser type of Jack Daniels he didn’t like and gave it away to a family member.

Also key, according to the plaintiffs, is that the arrangement between Moss Clay and Marshall accelerated after HISD approved tighter ethics rules in 2008.

Those rules banned vendors from giving gifts and items of value directly to trustees.

The trial is going into its third week and has underscored an alleged culture of cronyism and ‘pay to play’ often talked about but never proven in a court of law.

HOUSTON (KTRK) — On the day of the verdict that declared former HISD Trustee Larry Marshall liable for a string of charges including bribery, conspiracy and racketeering in civil U.S. Federal Court, the Houston Independent School District proudly declared it was not liable for any of the millions in damages that Marshall and his co-defendants were saddled with.

And good thing, because jurors on Nov. 16 slapped Marshall and his conspirators with a hefty sum in the wake of their bribery claim: $5 million.

After the trial, HISD sent out a statement reading in part,”HISD taxpayers are not liable for an damages awarded…HISD remains committed to effective and transparent stewardship of taxpayer dollars.”

See the full statement here.

What HISD brass didn’t tell you — the brass seeking to cut costs anywhere it can — is that taxpayers already paid out millions of dollars in connection with this case.

A few minutes after Marshall was found liable for millions in damages, he emerged from the federal courthouse surrounded by his lawyers.

It’s those lawyers you paid for.

Ted Oberg Investigates racked up the dollars.

These aren’t just estimates — they’re from the legal bills ABC13 obtained from HISD.

Representing Marshall since 2010 has cost $3,064,934.

HISD insurance kicked in some, but taxpayers paid nearly $2.5 million.

And with Marshall considering an appeal, HISD — and therefore you — may not be finished paying.

Richard Morris represented Marshall at trial.

Ted Oberg Investigates asked:

Why should taxpayers pay for Marshall’s defense?

“Taxpayer pay often for the defenses of elected officials because they volunteer their service,” Morris said.

Certainly the jury’s verdict suggested they felt Marshall’s service was anything but volunteer.

Experts say, though, that this sort of arrangement is the norm

“This is public money, this is not somebody’s private bank account,” said attorney Joel Androphy, who is an expert in white-collar crime. “This is the public’s bank account.”

Androphy says most public agencies agree to do this.

But this case is six years old.

And Marshall admitted to many of the damning facts under oath and on tape during his deposition more than 4 years ago.

HISD could have stopped the legal meter and your costs long ago.

They didn’t — and taxpayers kept paying.

“I think the big question is how did HISD let this happen without knowing about it,” Androphy said.

Alongside Marshall, others, including HISD vendor David “Pete” Medford and consultant Joyce Moss Clay, were found liable for civil unlawful conspiracy and a slew of other charges.

Despite the guilty verdict and the ominous-sounding charges, Marshall, 82, is not facing a single day behind bars. That’s because the bribery trial was a civil trial, rather than a criminal one.

Marshall and his attorney continue to deny any wrongdoing and Marshall and his fellow defendants are considering appeals.

HOUSTON (KTRK) — The wife of former superintendent Abe Saavedra was offered money by a client of then-HISD trustee Larry Marshall, with the client saying,

“I want to give your husband some money,”

according to testimony heard Friday during the civil bribery trial that’s being heard in Federal District Court.

The exchange apparently happened during lunch at Pappadeaux’s, after an “out of the blue” invitation from Eva Jackson, owner of construction company RHJ.

“‘For what?,’

Myrna Saavedra recalls in the 2013 deposition tape.

“And she said, ‘I just want to give him some money.’ And I said, ‘He’s not going to take any money from you.'”

The bribery trial has been focused on the activities of former long-time and powerful Houston Independent School District trustee Marshall.

Claim: Money slipped to trustee in envelopes, Jack Daniels gift case

The plaintiff, construction company Gil Ramirez Group, lost a contract with HISD and filed a lawsuit filed in 2010 alleging it was because they failed to pay a bribe to Marshall, who has not been charged and has denied any illegality. HISD is not a defendant.

In the case of the alleged attempted Pappadeaux’s payoff, Marshall’s lawyer made the argument that this was above board and raised the question if this particular vendor simply wanted donate money to the district.

Indeed, Marshall has long said he’s not been charged and said he has done nothing illegal.

Other testimony shown Friday came from Abe Saavedra, who served as HISD superintendent from 2004 to 2010. His taped testimony sheds more light about the culture inside the district, the “wining and dining” between trustees and vendors, and trustees talking directly to staff in a position to make recommendations on vendors, something protocol normally frowns upon.

Trustees even lobbied Saavedra himself, according to the testimony.

“Did they ever discussed any vendor with me? … The answer is yes,” he was recorded saying on the video.

Claim: HISD trustee accepted as much in $150,000 in bribes

At another point, he discussed the discomfort when trustees invite vendors to events, such as a Christmas party Saavedra hosted in 2004 for board members, senior staff and their spouses. In that case, Larry Marshall said he was bringing two guests. The guests turned out to be Eva Jackson — of RHJ — and her husband, Richard.

From Saavedra’s recording: “My interpretation of that is a subtle message from that trustee to, not only to the superintendent, but to — to the senior staff that was there, that these people are connected to him.”

Marshall has admitted in depositions that his campaign treasurer Joyce Moss Clay had business relationships with companies seeking HISD contracts. Clay, in turn, admitted she had given a Marshall-owned consulting firm some of the proceeds from those companies, one of which was Jackson’s RHJ.

There are more chances that this trial will uncover more about a culture of coziness between trustees and contractors at the nation’s fourth-largest school district.

For example, it’s expected that jurors will hear about HISD’s past, connecting it to current issues involving the district’s dismissed internal auditor, Richard Patton.

Patton was suspended in March, months after he questioned top district officials’ rationale behind the HISD’s massive $211 million bond shortfall and days after he spoke with the FBI, according to records and interviews. Patton was shown the door last month.

In court today, witnesses noticed FBI agents in the courtroom observing the proceedings.

The trial gavels back in Monday.

The Shack Train is Pullin’ Into the 14th Court of Appeals Puffin’ Smoke for Indicted Tony Hutchison

Anthony Hutchison systematically over-billed HISD and inflated bills for service. Ray L Shackelford is a close friend, associate and lawyer.

Piercing the Corporate Veil between Shackelford and Associates, LLC and Southwest Wholesale, LLC

LIT questions the client relationship between attorney Ray L. Shackelford and indicted Anthony Hutchison. It’s far closer than it may seem.

Shack’s Insomnia: Filing Baseless Lawsuits to Stop Foreclosure When It’s Ricardo “Kickbacks” Aguirre
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