State Rep. Ron Reynolds filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in July but continues to seek donors for his re-election campaign. In fact, supporters can join him for a fundraiser Thursday evening at a Missouri City bar, an email invitation from his campaign states.
A helpful donation card attached to the invitation includes check boxes ranging from $40 all the way up to $5,000. And the event is also billed as Reynolds's "birthday bash," so maybe bring a present, too?
Reynolds, a Fort Bend County Democrat and attorney who represents District 27, will need all the outside dough he can get, as bankruptcy generally implies a candidate won't have any money to donate to his own campaign. He faces Republican Ken Bryant on Election Day.
Prospective Reynolds donors, understandably, should know how he'll handle their money. A perusal through county state and federal court records may give some potential benefactors pause.
Reynolds's bankruptcy filing is not his first tangle with the legal system. In November 2015, he was convicted in an ambulance-chasing scheme in which prosecutors alleged Reynolds and other Houston lawyers hired a felon to search police reports for accident victims who could be potential clients.
A judge sentenced Reynolds to one year in prison and fined him several thousand dollars, but he is appealing the conviction, the Houston Chronicle reported.
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Reynolds has also lost two malpractice lawsuits since last year, Harris County civil court records state. In April, a judge ordered Reynolds to pay Earline and Ernie Murray $77,500 in damages. The Murrays claimed that after they hired Reynolds to represent them after Earline was in a car accident, Reynolds settled the case without the couple's consent, forged their signatures on a check from the insurance carrier and pocketed the money himself.
In July, Reynolds was in for another doozy: A different Harris County judge ordered him to pay $504,000 in damages to Nancy Ann Calloway. Calloway had hired Reynolds to sue a truck driver and trucking company after her daughter, April, was killed in a 2010 car crash, court papers state. Calloway accepted a settlement of $250,000, of which she would receive $166,667, per her agreement with Reynolds.
But Calloway claimed Reynolds (sound familiar?) never paid out her portion of the settlement, and instead took the money for himself. In his ruling in favor of Calloway, Judge Grant Dorfman wrote that Reynolds was guilty of "positive fraud, fraud of fact, involving moral turpitude."
A voice mailbox at Reynolds's campaign headquarters was full, and spokeswoman Margo Williams Hubbard did not immediately respond to a request for comment. We will update this story if Reynolds gets back to us.