Monday, January 16, 2006

(Making a) Better Living Through Chemistry

The decades-long operation of the Hayes-Sammons pesticide warehouse in a Mission neighborhood results in chemical-related illnesses, decreased property values and slow government response.

And lawsuits. Lots and lots of lawsuits.

Now, one of the plaintiffs' lawyers involved in the case might be in trouble because he agreed to split attorney fees with a non-lawyer (lawyers don't like to give non-attorneys a cut). According to The Monitor:
Lawyer Mauro Reyna III’s signature on the agreement to share attorney fees with Mission resident Ester Salinas is prohibited by the Texas State Bar because Salinas is not an attorney.
Salinas, of course, is the longtime community activist fighting to keep this issue in the spotlight. I guess it's because she gets a commission. She's not saying; she "hung up the phone in tears" when a reporter called to ask her about it.

Just to make things interesting, the agreement mentions another high-profile lawyer -- Hidalgo County Judge Ramon Garcia, a lead attorney in one of the class-action suits.

And if that wasn't enough, Mauro Reyna's running for Hidalgo County District Attorney in the Democratic primary. Incumbent Rene Guerra tells The Monitor he won't investigate until after the election:
"My general policy is, I don’t investigate candidates during the campaign," he said, adding, "I cannot stop anybody going to a grand jury and asking a grand jury to investigate allegations against anybody." (emphasis added).
Remember these words, people. They might come in handy later on.

Getting back to the pollution in Mission, don't overlook that the Environmental Protection Agency's long-awaited report on site contamination says chemicals saturate the soil at 100 times what the state says is safe. Meanwhile, "Mission’s mayor, city manager and the site’s owner all said they hadn’t made up their minds yet" about the findings and what to do about them.

A Mission blogger wonders why didn't these residents just move away once they learned of the contamination? The writer says in another post that they shouldn't wait on a settlement to leave:
The right way is to help them with their housing and medical costs. Most importantly, do these things now, when they need the help.


Blogger Shaine Mata said...

Thanks for the mention.

4:41 PM  

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