AC repairman sues Hotze

Hell yeah.

An air conditioning repairman who was held at gunpoint last October as part of a right-wing group’s voter fraud investigation has sued the group and its CEO, Houston conservative activist Steven Hotze.

David Lopez, the repairman, filed a lawsuit Tuesday against Hotze and his organization, Liberty Center for God and Country, for civil conspiracy, civil theft, and aiding and abetting Mark Aguirre, the former Houston police captain who faces a felony charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon stemming from an Oct. 19 confrontation with Lopez.

Aguirre told police he was investigating a massive “ballot harvesting” operation on behalf of Hotze’s group. He previously alleged that Lopez had about 750,000 fraudulent mail ballots in his truck and had been “using Hispanic children to sign” the ballots because the youths’ fingerprints would not appear in databases. Lopez’s truck contained only air conditioning parts and tools, authorities said.

Hotze paid Aguirre $266,400 to investigate voter fraud allegations through his group, including more than $211,000 the day after the incident in which the former cop rammed Lopez’s truck and then held him at gunpoint until a Houston police officer happened by. In December, shortly after Aguirre was arrested, Hotze called the assault charge “bogus.”

At the time, Hotze said he would not condone Aguirre’s actions if they were proven true, but he was not worried about being legally implicated as the one funding Aguirre’s investigative work.

Jared Woodfill, Hotze’s attorney, said Tuesday that Hotze had not instructed Aguirre to take any of the actions mentioned in the lawsuit, and contended that Hotze could not be found culpable of any legal wrongdoing.


Lopez is seeking more than $1 million for “bodily injury, physical pain, past and future mental anguish, exemplary damages and attorney fees,” according to the suit.

Woodfill said Aguirre’s attorney has given a different version of events, alleging Lopez and Aguirre got into a “fender bender” and Lopez prompted the confrontation when he rushed at Aguirre. In any case, Woodfill said Hotze should not be held responsible for Aguirre’s actions.

“When an allegation of voter fraud would come in, he would turn it over to investigators and they would do their work in the way they thought best,” Woodfill said. “So, using the plaintiff’s logic, if one were to go out and hire a contractor to do whatever the project may be, and they did something that you didn’t agree with, then according to the plaintiff, you’re responsible for it. I don’t believe that’s consistent with the law.”

Woodfill also said he believes the lawsuit is “politically motivated,” pointing to Lopez’s decision to sue Hotze but not Aguirre, and to hire attorneys K. Scott Brazil and Dicky Grigg, both of whom have represented the Texas Democratic Party in voting lawsuits. Woodfill noted Lopez’s lawsuit references Hotze’s numerous legal challenges against Harris County’s efforts to expand voting during the 2020 election, which it is part of Hotze’s “long history of pursuing and alleging bizarre unfounded voter fraud allegations.”

Grigg said Lopez is not suing Aguirre because he already has been indicted in the separate criminal case, and because Hotze — not Aguirre — is the one funding the operation.

“He’s just a puppet, and instead of going against the puppet, we’re going against the puppetmaster, the one pulling the strings,” Grigg said.

He added that the lawsuit was not motivated by Hotze’s political claims or the legal actions he took against Democrats and voter expansion measures.

“This lawsuit is not about any of the claims that Dr. Hotze’s making, no matter how ridiculous or unfounded they are,” Grigg said. “This is against actions that people he paid $300,000 to, the actions that these people took. And the whole purpose of the lawsuit is, fine, you can say what you want, you can hold the opinions you want. But you’re responsible for your actions and your conduct.”

See here, here, and here for the background – that last link has a lot of information. A copy of the lawsuit is embedded in the Chron story. I have never wanted a lawsuit to succeed more than I want this one to succeed. No one deserves this more than Steven Hotze. Attorney Grigg has this exactly right. Let’s hope that a jury, and eventually the Supreme Court, see it that way.

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12 Responses to AC repairman sues Hotze

  1. Bill Daniels says:

    I don’t think this suit will prevail, because Hotze’s argument is correct. Hiring a contractor does not make you responsible for everything that contractor does. Let’s say I hire the plaintiff here, the AC repairman, to fix my AC. He goes out and shoplifts the parts necessary to fix my AC. I shouldn’t be responsible for that, unless you can prove that I authorized the theft of the parts. Unless there’s some proof Hotze authorized the traffic altercation, then, I don’t see liability there.

    But this brings up a good point. Every crime victim should automatically be suing their attacker in court. True, most criminals are both scum and judgement proof, like George Kirby, but they should be sued anyway, a writ of execution should be filed against them, and a constable should automatically be searching their dwellings for whatever can be seized and sold. Bonus if they find drugs or other illegal stuff that causes them more legal trouble during the search for goods to sell. That should just be normal and customary, and the AC guy seems like he has a decent case against Aguirre. Further, Aguirre seems like he would have some stuff to take.

    The lawyers who sued Hotze but not Aguirre are obvious hacks. The lawyers don’t care about actually collecting a judgement, they just want to harass. This is lawfare, and Hotze should countersue the lawyers personally, for what it is, so he can collect legal fees and punitive damages from them.

  2. Jen says:

    Ha ha ha wrong! Hotze paid him *afterwards*. Good luck proving he didn’t authorize or approve the actions of his agent.

  3. Bill Daniels says:


    Is that proof that Hotze authorized the incident? Can you explain how that worked, because I don’t see it. What was the billing arrangement? I’m assuming that Aguirre was working on a T&M arrangement, and that typically gets billed every so often. Hotze probably terminated the agreement when Aguirre got arrested and paid whatever outstanding invoices there were.

    If the AC man had done some of the work for me, then got arrested for shoplifting, I wouldn’t have him back on my property, I would pay whatever I owed to be rid of him. Do you have proof that is not what happened here?

    Do you have an answer for why the AC guy did not sue the Aguirre, who actually hurt him?

  4. Bill Daniels says:


    I bet I can tell everyone why Aguirre wasn’t sued. I’m guessing the Democrat lawyers went to him and threatened him…..either play ball, and testify against Hotze, say that Hotze instructed Aguirre to accost the AC man, that Hotze was responsible for all of it, or they would sue Aguirre. Aguirre probably agreed to the blackmail. My only hope is that Aguirre had tapes himself, of being threatened by the lawyers.

    That’s the only scenario that makes any sense for why Aguirre wasn’t sued for an act Aguirre himself did. And it’s public knowledge already that Aguirre collected over $ 200K, just for this one job, so he must have something to take if a judgement is made against him.

  5. Jen says:

    This isn’t any different than hiring a hit man, except in this case the victim wasn’t killed. A criminal conspiracy, plain and simple, and the victim can chose who gets sued in a civil action- all, some or none. No one else gets any say.

  6. Bill Daniels says:


    Where is your proof that Hotze hired Aguirre to commit any crime? Do you have texts? E-mails? Surreptitious recordings of Hotze authorizing crimes to be committed?

    Where’s your proof that I instructed my AC guy to shoplift parts? This is what’s missing from your criminal conspiracy argument…..proof of a criminal conspiracy.

    Do you remember the hot blooded Columbian dentist who ran over her philandering husband at the Clear Lake Hilton years ago? She hired a detective agency to get proof the husband was cheating, which they did. That isn’t illegal. It’s not illegal to hire a private eye. Now, this is not an exact comparison, but think about this:

    Was the Blue Moon Detective Agency culpable for the philandering dentist’s death? Was there a criminal conspiracy between the private eyes and the aggrieved wife who ran over her husband? As I recall, there wasn’t. The crime was committed by the scorned wife, not the private eye. No conspiracy to commit a crime.

    In order to find liability on Hotze’s part, the activist lawyers would have to prove that Hotze “ordered the Code Red.” Do they have any proof like that?

  7. Jen says:

    I notice only one party has been arrested and charged at this point. It may make sense to apply the process of discovery to another party of this contract, because this party may not know what the arrested party has disclosed to authorities, and so doesn’t know what evidence can be safely hidden or destroyed. The fact that the arrested party is a former Police Officer makes his testimony much more credible, also increasing the pressure on the subject of the civil suit.

    Big bowl of popcorn, coming up!

  8. C.L. says:

    Whole lotta arm chair lawyering going on here…

  9. Jason Hochman says:

    Lotta armchair lawyers here. The difference between this and hiring a hit man is that a hit man is specifically hired to commit an illegal act. We need to review the contract and see if Hotze specifically hired an agent to commit a crime, such as aggravated assault, or if the contractor assaulted someone on his own initiative.

    However, hiring a hit man is a criminal offense. This is a civil lawsuit. The burden of proof is lower in a lawsuit.

  10. Souperman says:

    “Woodfill also said he believes the lawsuit is ‘politically motivated'”

    Which, to be fair, he and Hotze would be experts in politically motivated lawsuits, having filed quite a few in their time. However, my first thought is a snarky “poor baby”.

    I am not a lawyer and won’t speculate as to the strength of the case, but I have zero sympathy for Hotze or Woodfill.

  11. Bill Daniels says:

    “Woodfill also said he believes the lawsuit is “politically motivated,” pointing to Lopez’s decision to sue Hotze but not Aguirre, and to hire attorneys K. Scott Brazil and Dicky Grigg, both of whom have represented the Texas Democratic Party in voting lawsuits.”

    Of all the gin joints in all the world. I’m really curious how a random AC repair guy suing over a traffic accident, knows to hook up with Democrat operative lawyers in the first place. What are the odds? It almost might make one think that the lawyers, or their runners, sought out the AC guy. But of course that couldn’t be true, because that would be barratry, and not legal in Texas. And I don’t think I’ve ever seen Scott and Dickie on TV ads or billboards. Maybe the AC guy is big into Democrat politics? Maybe that’s why Aguirre thought he had a truck full of ballots in the first place? I’ve got more questions than answers here. Out of a literal whole phonebook of lawyers, the AC guy finds the RIGHT lawyers to sue a guy who was NOT even at the scene of the accident.

  12. Jen says:

    When one is looking for a lawyer, it makes sense to ask a lawyer you know, who will likely say ‘well, that isn’t really my area of expertise, you should consider X and Y, they are the ones for the job.’
    The usual Blame the Victim tactic. Good luck with that.

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