There is no big secret where Dr. Steve Hotze stands politically.
He preaches family values a lot.
His political action committee, The Conservative Republicans of Texas, is feared in Republican circles for the influence it has on Republican political races in Texas.
In a video posted on the Hotze Health & Wellness Center’s website in April of 2014, Hotze is quoted as saying “My faith in Christ directs my personal and business life.”
What most folks don’t know is that Steve Hotze isn’t practicing what his website preaches.
In a Houston courtroom, Hotze is accused of trying to cheat his very own brothers out of their share of the Hotze family business, Compressor Engineering Corporation (CECO), a business his father started and gave to the five sons to share.
It is an ugly family fight that doesn’t seem to jive with the love your kinfolk routine.
Lawsuits make strange bedfellows.
You might think Hotze has Republican lawyers to hire if he really wants to drag the family business out in court.
Instead he hired John Zavitsanos of the law firm of Ahmad, Zavitsanos, Anaipakos, Alavi & Mensing P.C. Zavitsanos is a Democrat who has given money to the Democratic National Committee.
Wonder how that will go over at the Texas GOP Convention this week in San Antonio?
You see, the judge in the Hotze family feud is Fredericka Phillips of the 61st District Court here in Harris County. She is a Democrat too. In fact, Phillips is the Vice-Chairwoman of the Texas Democratic Party.
A funny thing happens when you look at Judge Phillips campaign reports.In the the 2016 political campaign Judge Phillips held her share of campaign fundraisers.
Judge Phillips is clearly a John Zavitsanos favorite.
In April 2016, the lawyers of his law firm donated $8,765.00 to Phillips’ campaign. His law firm threw in $5,000, and lawyers in the firm kicked in the rest.
On October 4, 2016, Phillips threw another fundraiser. There were 20 contributions made the event.Guess how many came from the Mr. Zavitsanos, his law firm and its lawyers?
The firm again donated $5,000 and kicked in for the food and drink. The event raised $8,025 with more than 90% of the donations coming from the AZA law firm or its employees.
After Judge Phillips got elected, she held yet another fundraiser a few months later.
The AZA law firm helped pay for the food and drink at that one too, and they kicked in another $5,000 for Phillips campaign funds, even though she had already been elected and wouldn’t have to run again for years.
Mr. Zavitsanos and his law firm were the top donors to Fredericka Phillips’ campaign in 2016, donating a whopping $20,790 to the campaign. Zavitsanos and company were also the top donors in 2017.
Hotze hired Zavitsanos in March of 2019. We asked the lawyer about his financial ties to the Judge.
“I was hired to try this case because I am a trial lawyer who goes to trial often, something that happens with great frequency with cases in many different courts,” says Zavitsanos.
That’s nice, but a lot of lawyers handle lots of cases, and last time I checked, there are plenty of Republican lawyers too.
Maybe you can argue Steve Hotze thought it was more important to hire a lawyer whose law firm gives a heck of a lot of money to the Judge then worry about party loyalty.
Steve Hotze told Dolcefino Consulting he doesn’t worry about how it looks for a guy who screams about family values to sue his own brothers over money.
Maybe beating his brothers in court and taking their money for himself trumps draining the swamp.