The Big Breakup
For an overview of the subject, view the following articles:
- April 12, 1997 - Column by Dave Lieber of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram
- May 16, 1997 - Houston Chronicle
- November 28, 1997 - Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Key Dates & Summary of Events in the Turmoil
Saying that it is an attempt to influence the upcoming town election, Mayor Scott Bradley vetoes attempts by the Board of Aldermen to disannex the Stagecoach Hills Airpark subdivision. Mayor Bradley and the Board of Aldermen battle over Ross Perot Jr's plans for the Circle T Ranch.
April 14, 1997
Four Westlake Aldermen declare that they will put Mayor Bradley on trial and seek to remove him from office. Read an overview of events from April 14, 1997.
April 23, 1997
Aldermen Huntress, Dudley, Oien, and Moore move to "take all action necessary" to oust Mayor Bradley despite protests and a petition from the citizens of Westlake, and an order by Tarrant County District Judge Bob McGrath barring the Board from acting to remove Bradley. Read an overview of events from April 23, 1997.
April 24, 1997
District Judge Bob McGrath bars the Board from conducting a hearing to remove Bradley.
April 25, 1997
The 2nd Court of Appeals issues an order overriding Judge McGrath, allowing the Aldermen to put Bradley on trial. Read an overview of events from April 25, 1997.
April 28, 1997
Bradley appeals to the Texas Supreme Court, but the Court does not act to intervene.
April 29, 1997
The Board of Aldermen conducts a "trial" and removes Mayor Bradley from office. The 2nd Court of Appeals declines to set aside the ruling. The Aldermen then schedule a special meeting to vote on disannexations. Read an overview of events from April 29, 1997.
May 2, 1997
The Board of Aldermen appoints former Mayor Dale White as Mayor to fill the vacancy created by removing Mayor Scott Bradley. An hour later the Board votes to disannex the Circle T ranch and other properties, including the property of appointed Mayor Dale White and several Aldermen. Read an overview of events from May 2, 1997.
May 3, 1997
Regular municipal elections are held in Westlake sweeping in candidates who oppose the disannexations made the day before. The Fort Worth City Council calls an emergency Saturday morning meeting to place the Circle T ranch and other disannexed properties (including the land belonging to some of the Westlake Aldermen) into Fort Worth's jurisdiction.
May 5, 1997
Bradley argues in court that his ouster violated his constitutional right to due process. He presides at a meeting of the newly elected Aldermen and vetoes the disannexations. The former Aldermen post notice that they plan to disannex the Solana office complex, which generates 99 percent of the town's revenue. View details of the Solana posting.
May 6, 1997
Locks are changed at the Town Hall, notice is posted that the Town Hallis closed until further notice, and the town secretary cannot get in to perform her duties. Alderman Carroll Huntress requests an $85,000.00 transfer of funds from the town's investment account and uses the money to write 83 checks for $1000.00 each to pay attorneys involved in dismantling the town. This was done to circumvent a stipulation on the town's bank account stating that any check over $1000.00 must have two signatures. Read an overview of events from May 6, 1997.
May 8, 1997
Bradley calls an emergency meeting to again swear in the three Aldermen who were elected May 3rd. The 2nd Court of Appeals strikes down Judge McGrath's order that would have allowed Bradley to remain in office while he appealed. The Texas comptroller's office freezes about $2.4 million of Westlake funds due to uncertainty about who is in charge of Westlake. At a special 9 p.m. meeting, the lame-duck Aldermen vote to disannex Solana while almost simultaneously, the City of Southlake votes to put Solana in its jurisdiction and to begin annexation proceedings. Read an overview of events from May 8, 1997.
May 9, 1997
The former Board of Aldermen votes to ratify their previous actions disannexing the Circle T ranch and other properties, including many of their own. The former Board of Aldermen then seats the newly elected Board of Aldermen. The new Board assumes office and immediately votes to repeal each disannexation. The new Board also issues an order vacating Bradley's removal and granting Mayor Bradley a new trial. Read an overview of events from May 9, 1997.
May 12, 1997
The new Board of Aldermen and mayor Bradley file lawsuits to try to regain the Westlake properties claimed by Fort Worth, Southlake, and Roanoke.
May 15, 1997
White vetoes all actions by the new Board of Aldermen. Read an overview of events from May 15, 1997.
May 20, 1997
At White's request, the Tarrant County District Attorney's office files a quo warrant to determine who is the mayor of Westlake. Read an overview of events from May 20, 1997.
June 4, 1997
Upon receiving a letter from appointed Mayor White questioning the Mayor situation, the Keller State Bank freezes the Westlake deposits forcing the town to file for bankruptcy protection.
June 12, 1997
A Federal Bankruptcy Judge grants an emergency motion allowing the elected town officials to access the town's funds allowing the town to pay its bills. Read an overview of events from June 12, 1997.
August 12, 1997
Tarrant County District Judge Bob McGrath rules that Scott Bradley is the Mayor of Westlake and was never legally removed. Read an overview of events from August 12, 1997.
August 15, 1997
White appeals McGrath's ruling.
November 6, 1997
The 2nd Court of Appeals rules that White is the "lawful mayor" of Westlake. Read an overview of events from November 6, 1997.
December 4, 1997
Bradley files an appeal asking the Texas Supreme Court to review the 2nd Court of Appeals decision. View related cases.
December 8, 1997
The Westlake Board of Aldermen vote to allow Bradley to continue as Mayor until the Texas Supreme Court decides whether to uphold the Appeals Court decision.
Tarrant County District Judge Fred Davis states the May 2nd attempt to disannex 70 percent of the town is void, as well as the May 9th attempt by the lame-duck Board of Aldermen to ratify the May 2nd disannexations. Read an overview of events from February 13, 1998.
February 26, 1998
The Texas Supreme Court grants a petition for review of the legality of the ouster of Westlake Mayor Scott Bradley. Read an overview of events from February 26, 1998.
April 18, 1998
Lawyers for both sides in the Mayor issue prepare for the Texas Supreme Court case. Read an overview of events from April 18, 1998.
September 27, 1998
Get ready for the Supreme Court. Read an overview of events from September 27, 1998.
September 28, 1998
Lawyers for both sides in the Mayor issue argue in from of the Texas Supreme Court which is meeting for the first time outside of Austin. Read an overview of events from September 28, 1998. View pictures of the day.
September 29, 1998
Developer Ross Perot Jr. cuts a $22 million deal with the Fort Worth City Council settling Fort Worth's land dispute with Westlake over the Circle-T and securing a 314-acre Fidelity Investments campus for Westlake. Read an overview of events from September 29, 1998.
December 2, 1998
Judge Davis rules on the November 6 court hearing regarding the Solana disannexation, ruling that Solana belongs in Westlake, and not Southlake. Read an overview of events from December 2, 1998.
1998 in Review
Texas Supreme Court rules Bradley is and was the rightful mayor of Westlake. Details can be found in the April 8, 1999 Dallas Morning News article or the April 8, 1999 Fort Worth Star-Telegram report on the announcement.
September 1999 through May 2000
Hillwood and the town still at odds over MUDs and despite 1998 settlement. Details can be found in the following articles
- September 23, 1999 - Dallas Morning News - Circle T development awaits utility ruling
- January 9, 2000 - Fort Worth Star-Telegram - Circle T setback
- January 12, 2000 - Fort Worth Star-Telegram - Hillwood drops opposition to Westlake water service bid
- February 9, 2000 - Fort Worth Star-Telegram - Hillwood hangs on to 3 Circle T utility districts
- February 17, 2000 - The Westlake First News - Westlake, Hillwood negotiations over MUD futures stalled
- May 2, 2000 - Fort Worth Star-Telegram - Westlake, Hillwood sign water service agreement
July 1, 2000
This American Life, a public radio show from WBEZ in Chicago, has delved into Westlake history.The show that aired July 1 revisited the tale of small-town politics, a real estate baron and a series of events three years ago that captured national media attention. Hint: The show contains two stories, Westlake being the second story covered. Use your audio controls to seek to about 11 minutes and 52 seconds into the show to begin listening to the Westlake saga.
State District Judge Fred Davis rules in favor of Westlake in a four-year border dispute between Roanoke and Westlake over 300 acres. Read an overview of events from June 23, 2001.