Mayor Falcon Release Statement

am pleased to announce that Clayton Williams, Jr. has dismissed the defamation lawsuit
that was filed against me. The lawsuit concerned a statement of mine that was published in the
Fort Stockton Pioneer and a memorandum prepared by our City staff that was presented to the
Midland County Commissioners and published on the City’s website. Our intent with these
statements was to voice concerns that citizens in the community had expressed about Mr.
Williams’ company’s plans to export groundwater from Pecos County. I did not intend to state
or imply that Mr. Williams was trying to take water that was owned by others, or that he or his
company’s executives had been dishonest with respect to their groundwater permit application,
or that they had any actual plan or intent to run over or abuse other landowners’ property rights.
In hindsight I can see how some of our statements of citizen’s concerns could have been
misinterpreted as statements of fact, and I also recognize that there was an inaccuracy in City
staff’s description of the groundwater permit application by Mr. Williams’ company. Once I
confirmed the inaccuracy, and independent of the lawsuit, I asked City staff to pull the
memorandum from the City’s website. I am sorry if either the inaccuracy in City staffs’
memorandum or if a misinterpretation of my letter to the Fort Stockton Pioneer has caused any
harm to Mr. Williams’ personal reputation for honesty or integrity. I understand that a reputation
for honesty is important, and I certainly did not intend to attack or harm Mr. Williams’ reputation
for honesty.
I believe that part of the reason for the inaccuracy in City staff’s memorandum was that
we were working under extreme time pressures to prepare the memorandum and present it to the
Midland County Commissioner’s Court. One positive outcome of this lawsuit is that I have
secured Mr. Williams’ commitment to keep the City of Fort Stockton better informed of his
company’s regulatory steps and permitting process with respect to its planned water project. In
the future, the City of Fort Stockton will be immediately copied with all filings made by Mr.
Williams’ company with the Middle Pecos Groundwater Conservation District. I also
understand that Mr. Williams has instructed his staff and experts to cooperate and share
information with the City’s independent groundwater experts so that we can better evaluate what
effect that Mr. Williams’ proposed water export project may have on the City’s water supply.
We welcome Mr. Williams’ commitment to better communication. I believe that as more
information is shared with the City, we will avoid future misunderstandings and be in a better
position to educate our citizens so they can make informed decisions about the proposed
groundwater project.

Leave a Reply