This was expected.
Embattled state Rep. Ron Reynolds has filed for personal bankruptcy following a judge’s order to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to a former client.
The filing comes as Reynolds, the Democratic whip in the House, is also appealing a conviction last year in Montgomery County on barratry charges, commonly known as ambulance chasing. He has also been suspended by the state bar.
Reynolds filed for Chapter 7 personal bankruptcy on July 14, federal court records show. Legal experts said Texas law allows filers to keep their homes while selling other assets to pay their debts.
In his filings, Reynolds listed $580,000 in assets against more than $1.3 million in liabilities, including the debt to Calloway. He also listed $3,000 in unpaid Houston-area tolls and $15,000 in fines owed to the Texas Ethics Commissions for failing to file financial disclosure forms.
Reynolds was convicted of barratry last year in Montgomery County after jurors agreed he paid a middleman to approach recent accident victims within 30 days of accidents, which Texas law forbids in an effort to fight fraud and keep mourning relatives from being swarmed by personal injury lawyers.
He said his legal troubles are personal issues that “won’t have any impact” on his work for the district, which includes Missouri City, Stafford, Sienna Plantation and parts of Houston and Sugar Land. Questions about his ability to effectively legislate are “just campaign rhetoric,” he said.
“It’s easy to say it from afar, and maybe someone else would be distracted … but for me I’ve been very focused,” Reynolds said in a phone interview. He said his office helps constituents with issues ranging from air quality to road construction and child support.
You know the story; by now, it’s too depressing to bother doing a recap. Reynolds has debts he says he can’t pay, a law license he can’t use, and a jail sentence hanging over his head. Sooner or later, something’s gotta give.