Beyond City Limits
Edited By Mike Clark-Madison, Fri., April 18, 2003
Only days after his brother Dan was indicted on 12 felony corruption counts, record producer Michael Morales was sentenced to two years in federal prison (the maximum sentence) for attempting to extort $280,000 from Dan Morales' 2002 election opponent Tony Sanchez. The younger Morales called his attempt to blackmail Sanchez by revealing undisclosed information about Sanchez's alleged past misdeeds "naive and foolish." Dan Morales has consistently denied any prior knowledge of his brother's extortion attempt. -- M.C.M.
Meanwhile, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn -- Dan Morales' nemesis and successor as Texas attorney general -- has co-authored a bill with Arizona GOP Sen. Jon Kyl that would limit the amount attorneys could receive in contingency fees in certain high-dollar cases. Like, for example, the states' tobacco settlements; the indictments against Morales spring from the massive attorneys' fees awarded in the Texas tobacco deal, which Cornyn attacked and investigated during his entire four years as AG. The Kyl-Cornyn bill is part of a national-level tort-reform effort expected to heat up in coming months; Cornyn sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee. -- M.C.M.