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Lubbock State District Judge Bill Sowder

Lubbock State District Judge Bill Sowder owes the Red Raider Nation an explanation. 

He owes me one too.

More than a year after Dolcefino Consulting filed a lawsuit to end the secrecy at Texas Tech University, home town Judge Bill Sowder filed an order recusing himself from the case. 

More than a year later! Months after he ruled the University was played word games with our requests to finally get the records exposing the conspiracy to fire Coach Mike Leach and cheat him out of $2.5 million.

The order was signed without an explanation about this sudden conflict of interest.

Was it political pressure?  Why now?  Don’t the parties deserve to know? Don’t Lubbock County voters deserve to know?

“Texas law allows judges sign their own recusal motions and not explain why. That’s ridiculous,” says Wayne Dolcefino, President of Dolcefino Consulting. “My firm has spent tens of thousands of dollars trying to bring sunshine to Texas Tech, and this decision will force us to spend tens of thousands more than we had to, in part to educate a new Judge. 

Texas courts have dealt with this issue by saying that, “An inquiry into his or her mental processes, however messy, in arriving at this decision would be improper and would threaten the foundation of an honorable and independent judiciary.

Sounds like something Judges would write to let other judges off the hook.

Where do I go to get an explanation?

Judge Sowder recently swore in the new District Attorney Sunshine Stanek. She has refused to investigate the disappearance of records created in the days and weeks surrounding the Leach firing.  Late last year, the Texas Appeals Court made it harder to get the public records from Texas Tech. All the Appeals Judges are graduates of Texas Tech’s law school.

“Folks in Lubbock need to wake up. Texas Tech is not just hiding records about Mike Leach. They are hiding records about the obviously forced retirement of the last Chancellor, sexual harassment and sexual assault on campus, the amount of school money they lost to Bernie Madoff, the use of grants and research dollars at the Texas Tech Health Science Center, “ says Dolcefino, “The list of games being played by this school should be embarrassing to the people who pay taxes, donate money to the school and send their kids there.”

Judge Sowder’s sudden conflict of interest will force the area administrative Judge to find another Judge to hear the continuing lawsuit.  Hearings aren’t currently set again until May of 2019.

In the meantime, Sowder should file a public explanation.   Sowder is up for re-election in 2020 and could face a primarily challenge in the next several months.

“If no other Judge in Lubbock can be counted on to take their Red Raiders cap off longer enough to enforce the Texas Public Information Act, just admit you folks all have the hometown flu so we can seek real justice elsewhere in Texas,” says Dolcefino,  “I would hate to think we have to go to federal court alleging our civil rights are being violated by a bunch of politicians in Lubbock who care more about protecting the school then administering justice.”

The Lubbock County District Attorney is K. Sunshine Stanek. Guess she forgot what her middle name means when it comes to transparency.

On Monday, February 4, 2019, Dolcefino Consulting filed a formal criminal complaint against Texas Tech University. We know they have destroyed important records involving the firing of Coach Mike Leach.

They’ve admitted it. Within 48 hours, the Lubbock County District Attorney told us they weren’t going to investigate.

What a shock.

Fans and alumni deserve to know the whole story why Mike Leach was fired as Head Coach of the Texas Tech Red Raiders football team just days after the winningest season in school history. Unfortunately, Red Raiders nation may never get the opportunity to learn the whole story.

In late 2017, Dolcefino Consulting found emails revealing the university had a trove of communications about Leach on a shared computer file. When we asked to see the file, 23 days after we had filed a lawsuit, Texas Tech told us a cache of documents were gone.

“Unfortunately, there is not sufficient evidence to support a criminal case at this time,” the Lubbock DA’s Office wrote Dolcefino Consulting. “Specifically, assuming that documents were concealed or destroyed, there does not appear to be any evidence that Ronny Wall is the person who actually concealed or destroyed said documents. As a result, we will not be able to proceed with a criminal prosecution at this time.”

Ronny Wall is a Senior Associate General Counsel at Texas Tech and the custodian of public records. That’s why he was named in the complaint. Of course, if the Lubbock District Attorney read the law, they would know that.

“Texas Tech leaders are serial hiders of public information. It is disappointing that The Lubbock County DA doesn’t care that a taxpayer-funded institution ignores the public right to know,” says Wayne Dolcefino, President of Dolcefino Consulting.

Donors, parents, students and fans of Red Raider football have a right to know why Texas Tech officials fired Leach and cheated him out of $2.5 million owed in pay. Supporters of the coach believe the university has suffered the Curse of the Pirate ever since then.

Leach was named one of the American Football Coaches Association’s 2018 National Coach of the Year recipient for his dramatic winning season at Washington State. Tech has another new coach after another bad football season.

Tech continues to fight to keep other Leach records secret, along with documents detailing sexual assaults and harassment on campus. Dolcefino Consulting plans to seek sworn testimony from Tech officials soon.

Hard not to notice where Sunshine learned about the law. Texas Tech. Class of 2000. The same place where all the Appeals Court judges that have heard Tech’s fight to keep secrets went to school.

What a surprise. 

If you need additional information, please contact Dolcefino Consulting at 713-360-6911 or www.dolcefino.com.

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Dolcefino Consulting is calling for a criminal investigation into destruction of public records by Texas Tech University.

Fans and alumni deserve to know the whole story of why Mike Leach was fired as Head Coach of the Texas Tech Red Raiders football team just days after the winningest season in school history. Texas Tech has been fighting to keep records of the Leach investigation secret for years.

In late 2017, Dolcefino Consulting found e-mails revealing a lot of the communications about Leach were located in a shared file.  We asked to see the contents of the file and were told it no longer existed.  By then, Dolcefino Consulting had already filed a lawsuit against Texas Tech over the secrecy surrounding the withholding of records related to the Leach case, including e-mails sent by former Chancellor Kent Hance.

“Texas Tech officials have a history of fighting requests for public information. Deleting these records amounts to a cover-up, ”says Wayne Dolcefino, President of Dolcefino Consulting, “Does the actions of Texas Tech amount to destruction of public records? It’s the District Attorney’s duty to find out.”

Texas Tech fired Mike Leach in December 2009 after claiming he mistreated a player who suffered a concussion. But if the university is so sure Leach deserved to be fired, why is Texas Tech deleting emails and documents about the coach that the public lawfully should know about? It makes no sense to destroy evidence that supports the university’s claim that Leach should be fired. Yet, that’s precisely what Texas Tech is telling us.

“Texas Tech is tampering with physical evidence if they destroyed the files in that pathway,” Dolcefino said, “I’m requesting the Lubbock County District Attorney’s Office opens a criminal investigation into the actions of Senior Associate General Counsel Ronny Wall because he is the official custodian of the school’s records.

Monday morning, February 4, 2019, Dolcefino Consulting is filing a formal criminal complaint and sworn affidavit supporting the complaint with the Lubbock County District Attorney

Donors, parents, students and fans of Red Raider football will continue to lose as long as Texas Tech officials deny the public the truth.  The University used the firing to cheat Leach out of 2.5 million dollars in owed pay. Supporters of the coach believe the University has suffered the Curse of the Pirate ever since then.

Leach was named one of the American Football Coaches Association’s 2018 National Coach of the Year recipient for his dramatic winning season at Washington State.

Meanwhile, Texas Tech was firing yet another unsuccessful coach. The school has not had as single season that was better than any of the seasons under Leach, since he left ten years ago.

If you need additional information, please contact Dolcefino Consulting at 713-360-6911.

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2019-02-04-TEXAS-TECH-CRIMINAL-COMPLAINT-REDACTED

The 7th Court of Appeals in Amarillo will not punish Texas Tech for the games the university has played in the effort to cover up the truth in the Mike Leach case.

Yes, I said cover up.

“The opinion from Justice Judy Parker is a blow to the public right to know and an invitation to state universities to continue to play an arrogant game of duck and weave,” says Wayne Dolcefino, President of Dolcefino Consulting. “It only prolongs the fight to get to the truth, but we will get there. Red Raider donors, parents, students and taxpayers deserve it.”

Now the legal battle heads back to Judge Bill Sowder’s court in Lubbock.

The Appeals Court ruling said we couldn’t prove Tech lied when it claimed it had no “completed investigation” in the Leach case. The court also bought Tech’s claim it had no financial ledger detailing the money spent by the university football team.

Really?

“We had argued Tech completed the Leach investigation when they stopped working on it nearly a decade ago and had to release the documents they created. Tech argued it never completed an investigation, but how do they claim there are no records when we know there are.

Gotcha.

Dolcefino Consulting has already proven Texas Tech lied to its donors and fans when they promised a full investigation when they fired the winningest coach in school history. We now know the university destroyed at least some of the records, and we know they are still hiding more. Emails we do have show Tech officials insulted angry fans at the time.

“We will soon ask Judge Sowder to let us take the sworn depositions of Tech Counsel Ronny Wall and Charlotte Bingham, whose records the school continues to hide,” says Dolcefino. “Wall’s conduct is atrocious, he refuses to even tell us what he’s done to preserve the records in this fight.”

Tech isn’t just hiding records in the Leach case. They are fighting to keep secret football financial records, evidence of sexual assault and harassment on the campus in Lubbock, and even documents detailing how much school money was lost in the Bernie Madoff scandal.

“The only real losers in this ongoing public records fight are the donors, the parents, the students and the fans of Red Raider football,” says Dolcefino. “This is also unfair to Matt Wells, the new football coach. Instead of telling the whole truth and paying Mike Leach what the school owes him, Texas Tech officials would rather force yet another coach to try to win with the curse of the pirate over his head.”

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Texas Tech has fired head coach Kliff Kingsbury after his third consecutive losing season. It is the latest setback for a football program that has suffered since the firing of Coach Mike Leach nine years ago.

Tech needs a fresh start. That must include finally paying Mike Leach what the school owes him and burying the hatchet. Leach says he is ready to shake hands once he gets the 2.5 million dollars he is owed, plus interest.

It is also time to tell the truth to Red Raider fans.

“Maybe some Red Raider fans didn’t notice, but I tried to warn you. This collapse, this five-game losing streak came as Texas Tech decided to spend money to fight a judge’s ruling in the Mike Leach case, rather than simply showing Red Raiders the whole truth,” says Wayne Dolcefino, President of Dolcefino Consulting.

Texas Tech is trying to get an appeals court to protect them from showing fans the records because it will prove Mike Leach was set up and cheated.

“We already have proven Tech lied to fans when they promised a thorough investigation of Coach Leach,” says Dolcefino.

Nine years later the university continues to fight to hide the conspiracy now unfolding between former Chancellor Kent Hance and a few powerful regents to fire the winningest coach in school history.

“It is time to end the secrecy and pay the man. It is time to end the curse of the pirate,” says Dolcefino. “I have repeatedly warned Tech. The fans deserve a fresh start.”

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton needs to recuse himself on the important public records fight heading to the 7th Court of Appeals Wednesday, November 7th in Amarillo.

Dolcefino Consulting has been battling with Texas Tech to get them to finally release public records detailing the firing of former Coach Mike Leach. Leach wants the $2.5 million dollars he is still owed. The controversy continues to cast a shadow over the University.

Texas Tech didn’t like it when a Lubbock Judge told them he could handle the fight. The University wants the Attorney General to decide whether Tech has to release public documents to Dolcefino Consulting that they’ve been hiding from you for nine years.

Here’s the problem. Paxton should be the referee in public hearing cases until he takes a side. Well, guess what? Paxton is siding with Texas Tech to keep secrets from the public. He shouldn’t now be asked to rule on any requests for public information from Tech.

You can’t have it both ways Mr. Paxton!

Tech is a public University. Their records should be public and completely transparent, but Tech has fought our requests tooth and nail, which makes you wonder what Tech is really hiding nine years later. What are they so afraid of?

Dolcefino Consulting will be at a hearing in front of the Texas Appeals Court in Amarillo on Wednesday. This case is a big deal, because it could have significant impact on transparency and what public entities must share with YOU.

Ken Paxton needs to recuse himself from this case. He needs to do the right thing for sake of the public right to know. He should be on your side in this fight, not part of the conspiracy to hide the whole truth.

Stay tuned.

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