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Former Robertson County DA ordered to produce financial records in Oscar estate case

Former Robertson County DA ordered to produce financial records in Oscar estate case

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A district judge Wednesday ordered former Roberston County District Attorney John Paschall to turn over nearly two decades of financial records as requested by Ty Clevenger, an attorney who asserts Paschall stole money as executor of a deceased Calvert woman's estate. 

Under Senior District Judge H.D. Black Jr.'s ruling, Paschall will have to disclose personal bank records, tax returns and credit reports dating back to 1996, when he was given power of attorney of Mariam Oscar's estate, through 2013. 

Black also ordered the financial information be protected from third-party viewing, with the exception of the Office of the Attorney General and Texas Rangers. 

The two state agencies were excluded from the non-disclosure order because of a criminal investigation that has been launched into the matter as a result of Clevenger filing complaints alleging Paschall misappropriated Oscar's estate funds. 

Paschall was originally sued by Clevenger in 2011 on the behalf of a distant relative of Oscar, who died in 2004. 

Clevenger filed a fourth amended petition naming the Calvert Historical Association as the plaintiff in June after it was discovered that, according to Oscar's trust, which Paschall had to be ordered by an appeals court to produce, the Calvert woman desired anything remaining in her estate after she died be given to a Calvert non-profit and be used to build a memorial for her mother in a building that Paschall had already sold by the time the document was released.

At the time of her death, Oscar's assets and property were believed to be worth about $300,000, according to the lawsuit against Paschall. Toward the end of January, Paschall handed over $86,000 in cash, what he's said is left of the estate, to the Robertson County Clerk's office, where it will remain until a receiver is named. 

An auditor has been named on the case to determine how much money Oscar's estate was worth at the time Paschall was given power of attorney and if any funds or property were misappropriated. 

During the hearing Wednesday, Paschall's attorney, Rusty Russ, urged the judge to put an end to discovery requests from the plaintiff. 

"At some point, there's got to be a stop to this discovery process," he said. "I can't depose anybody because we're still in discovery stages." 

Russ objected to any of his client's financial records being disseminated to the Office of the Attorney General or Texas Rangers, arguing they should have to go through a discovery process of their own if they wanted the documents. 

Russ also objected to Clevenger's request for credit reports, saying he didn't believe the records would contain evidence that could show misappropriation. 

Clevenger responded by saying he wasn't making the request to prove Paschall stole money, but to find bank accounts the former district attorney may be attempting to hide. 

When he's previously been asked to provide information about any bank accounts associated with Oscar's estate, Paschall has repeatedly insisted none existed. 

However, Clevenger was able to present documents from a "Mariam Oscar John Paschall, Power of Attorney" bank account opened prior to Oscar's death during a hearing on Jan. 31. 

According to the First State Bank records, Paschall wrote 16 checks totaling $19,700 to himself between January 2005 and September 2007. At the last hearing, Clevenger called Paschall to the stand intending to ask him about Oscar's money, but Paschall invoked his Fifth Amendment right on the advice of his attorney. 

Wednesday, Clevenger presented evidence of a $1,100 check written by Paschall to himself from a Mariam Oscar account operated by Edward Jones out of State Street Bank in Boston. Clevenger plans to subpoena the bank for records from the account. 

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