Travis County judge consolidates lawsuits pending against City

EL PASO, Texas - Travis County District Court Judge Tim Sulak on Thursday granted the City of El Paso's motion to consolidate two lawsuits pending in El Paso into the City's bond validation lawsuit pending before the Travis County District Court.

The bond validation action seeks to confirm the City's authority to construct the Downtown Ballpark at the site currently occupied by City Hall and to finance the project with the hotel occupancy tax approved by the voters in November.

At Thursday's hearing on the motion to consolidate, Jesus Ochoa Jr, who is a plaintiff in two separate lawsuits challenging the Ballpark project pending in El Paso, appeared to oppose consolidation, according to City officials.

Sulak determined that a suit pending in the 41st District Court in El Paso, in which Ochoa seeks to prevent the City from taking action on the ballpark project, should be consolidated with the City's bond validation lawsuit and resolved on the expedited timeframe permitted by the statute under which the suit was brought by the City.

Sulak also consolidated a lawsuit pending in County Court at Law No. 5 in El Paso, which also seeks to delay the ballpark project.

Sulak did not consolidate Ochoa's lawsuit in County Court at Law No. 6 in El Paso after he determined that the case did not seek an injunction with regards to the actions the City seeks to have validated, according to City officials.

A hearing on the City's bond validation suit is set for Monday, Feb. 4, in the District Court of Travis County.

If the City's request is not resolved on February 4, Sulak will set an expedited schedule to hear any remaining issues according to the accelerated timeframe required by Chapter 1205 of the Texas Government Code, which governs bond validation lawsuits.

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