County Attorney Candidate Vince Ryan Sues Linebarger Goggan

Saying he deserves a bigger piece of the pie, the former city councilman serves up cherry information to his current political opponent

Yet the suit is not just about the money Ryan believes he's owed for his work. He also claims "intentional infliction of emotional distress."

The suit describes the circumstances surrounding the distress, in part, thusly: "Defendants used compulsion and coercion to force Ryan to abstain from...the voicing of even his opinion of their operations and deceptions towards their ­clients."

Ryan's attorney says his client wasn't voicing these opinions to third parties. Apparently, Ryan just wanted to be able to tell other members of the firm how much Linebarger Coggan sucked.

Because the higher-ups frowned upon this, it distressed Ryan, so that accounts for some of the $7.5 million demand.

When asked what he thinks now of the privatization of delinquent-tax collection, Ryan says, "After 11 years of being on the other side, I can't say I disagree with any of the things I said back in the 1980s or [early] 1990's."

Harris County Attorney Mike Stafford declined personal comment for this story, but First Assistant County Attorney John Barnhill told the Press: "We consider this to be a private matter between Mr. Ryan and his former employer."

Neither Ryan nor his lawyer, Marc Hill, believe this suit should have anything to do with his campaign.

"There's...his life as a lawyer that had worked [at Linebarger Goggan], was made promises and didn't receive what he was promised," Hill says. "...And then draw a line down the table. On that side of it, here's the candidate."

And the candidate is touting his experience in Latin American relations, exemplified by his service on the Panama Canal Mission. But there's more. Ryan came to an interview with the Press armed with printouts from his Web site, and other biographical papers, including one with a list of his Latin American-related accomplishments. These include:

• Master's degree from Rice University, thesis on the early development of the Mexican petroleum industry

• Traveled to Belize

• Read and understand Spanish well, conversant verbally

Voting takes place November 4.

craig.malisow@houstonpress.com

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