4. The Mobil Response ” CLINTON [MANGES] was a convenient complainant,” attorney Pat Ma loney told the Observer in a discussion about the Mobil case. “It’s an open secret they [the big oil companies] violated their leases forever. It’s an old and sick pattern. . . . We could go after lease after lease, but Manges had one million bucks to develop the case.” \(Maloney has withdrawn from the case, claiming the issues are so clearcut that it’s not a challenge to him. His son and daughter-in-law, Michael and Marynell Maloney, as well as McAllen attorney Morris Atlas, now represent Manges in Both Manges and Mattox, as well as Garry Mauro, insist that Mobil knows it doesn’t have a case and that the giant corporation is, therefore, trying the case in the media, not in the courtroom. “You have to understand this,” Mauro explained. “Mobil has never attempted to handle this as a legal case. They have politicized this from the word ‘Go.’ ” “Mobil’s whole scheme is to delay their lawsuit,” Mattox told the Observer. “McDade knows this case will be settled at the appellate level, and he says he can’t get a fair trial in the appeals court or at the Supreme Court, so he’s using delaying tactics.” What Mattox calls “delaying tactics” involve the following: Fulbright & Jaworski, representing Mobil, has accused Mattox of threatening the firm’s bond business; A Travis County grand jury is continuing inquiries into the reported threats as well as into accusations of improper connections between Mattox’s campaign for attorney general and bank loans to relatives; Mobil is trying to have state District Judge Ruben Garcia of Laredo removed from handling the case by charging that he has ties to Manges. It was Mobil attorney McDade who accused Mattox of threatening Fulbright & Jaworski’s governmental bond business. Fulbright & Jaworski is one of a handful of law firms in the state authorized to assist taxing authorities in issuing bonds. Although it’s a simple process so simple, in fact, the state of Texas is considering taking over the process as a public service it’s also very lucrative. \(Pat Maloney termed the bond business “a legal bonanza. A comthe time of the alleged Mattox threat, the largest bond issue being handled by the Fulbright firm that was awaiting the attorney general’s approval was $329.8 million in bonds for a lignite plant to be constructed by the Lower Colorado River Authority. At the approximate time that McDade says the threats were made, the firm was also bond counsel for the cities of Midland, Bedford, Plano, Terrell, and Stephenville; for school districts in New Braunfels, Crockett County, Rockwall, and Oakwood; and for the counties of Comal, Lavaca, Liberty, and Webb. McDade said Mattox threatened him because McDade wanted to question Mattox’s sister, Janice Mattox, about a loan from Seattle-First National Bank. He said Mattox threatened to delay the LCRA bond sale, but that the threat was dropped after he went to Austin to speak with Mattox’s general counsel Arthur Mitchell and agreed to allow another lawyer representing Mobil to question Janice Mattox. Mattox has denied making the threat and has told the Observer he hopes McDade taped the telephone conversation in question because it will show that McDade actually threatened him. He p ERHAPS MAURO and Mattox are right; perhaps we are watching McDade’s strategy, not Mobil’s; nevertheless, such tactics wouldn’t be out of character for Mobil, maybe the most aggressive and most public-opinionoriented of big oil’s Seven Sisters. One reason for Mobil’s aggressive tendencies is its traditional oil voraciousness. With the breakup of the Rockefeller Standard Oil, Standard Oil Mobil’s first incarnation found itself with a large overseas market but with limited crude oil reserves, based as it was in New York. In December, 1925, shortly after the Magnolia Petroleum Com does admit to telling McDade he’s keeping Fulbright & Jaworski’s bond business under close scrutiny. Mattox and his attorney Mitchell also contend that McDade never came to Austin to speak with Mitchell about the threat. A lawyer with Fulbright & Jaworski also told the Fort Worth StarTelegram that the meeting never took place. Mattox told the Observer he thinks McDade is afraid of losing his client and that the tactics McDade has employed are his alone, not necessarily Mobil’s. Mauro told the Observer, “Just for the record . . . I think a good part of McDade’s timing on this lawsuit appearing in the press was because he was trying to get control of the case internally in the Mobil workings. There’s no doubt in my mind that right now McDade is not the lead attorney for Mobil. John Camp is. What he wanted to do was become the lead attorney again. The best way to do that successfully was to try the case in the newspapers. ” pany of Texas had bought the Corsicana Petroleum Company, Socony purchased Magnolia. In 1931, Socony merged with Vacuum Oil Company to form SoconyMobil, with Magnolia as an affiliate. Socony-Vacuum later became SoconyMobil, then Mobil. It was Vacuum Oil Company that in 1925 signed the original oil lease with the Duval County Ranch Co. Oil hunger, however, is not the only manifestation of Mobil’s aggressive nature. In the last five years, Mobil has poured over $20 million per year into a public relations campaign to promote its own interests while couching those interests in terms purporting to defend the 5. A Word About Mobil 8 AUGUST 19, 1983
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