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March 10, 2005

Pete Sessions Helps Major Donor in Divorce Case

By Byron LaMasters

Wow. This has the potential to be a juicy story. Sessions filed a sworn affidavit in a divorce case which is disputed by the woman in the case:

In October 2003, Katz filed for divorce, and immediately sued to regain the transferred assets.

On February 11, 2005 - the day of a critical divorce court hearing - a surprise document was introduced by Ahron Katz's attorney. The sworn affidavit from Pete Sessions recalled a "summer 2003 discussion with them both ... via telephone, wherein they discussed their plan to have Lucia hold Ahron's lifetime savings and assets while attempting to resolve Ahron's ongoing legal dispute."

Sessions went on to suggest that "both understood that it was clearly never intended by Ahron to gift the assets to Lucia."

Leslie Martin is Lucia Katz's divorce attorney.

"I couldn't believe it," Martin said. "It was extraordinary that a U.S. congressman would file this type of an affidavit."

She said Sessions' sworn statement presents at least one big problem.

"My client, Mrs. Katz, says that conversation never took place," Martin said. "She's in fact never had a telephone conversation with Congressman Sessions."

But perhaps the bigger question is being posed by Matthew Andersen, the attorney representing the plaintiffs who won that December 2002 judgment against Katz. He said Sessions' affidavit outlines what appears to be an attempt by Katz to hide assets from the plaintiffs.

"My clients had obtained a judgment against Mr. Katz in excess of $1.4 million," Andersen said. "We were trying to collect it and they were out apparently hiding assets, and this was known to the congressman."

Andersen said he is considering taking legal action, and may seek Sessions' deposition. He wants to know if Katz was attempting to evade payment on the judgment, and what, if anything, Sessions knew about it.

Katz's attorney said the transfer was legitimate and was done at his wife's request.

Congressional watchdog Melanie Sloan is responsible for helping to bring successful ethics charges against Congressman Tom Delay. She has also read the affidavit, and believes Sessions may have violated House rules requiring members to conduct themselves in a fashion that reflects positively on Congress.

Will their be another ethics complaint? Or will Congress return to the pre-Chris Bell years of "ethics truce"?

Posted by Byron LaMasters at March 10, 2005 11:45 AM | TrackBack


To what extent is Sessions complicit in the attempt to hide assets. Sounds like a party Defendant to a conspiracy to commit violations of the Uniform Fraudulent Transfers Act (UFTA). (If Counsel for the case reads this and has ?s on UFTA, ask Byron to give me your number)

Posted by: WhoMe? at March 10, 2005 08:14 PM
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