Judge affirms ruling in Houston civil suit

An Alameda County Superior Court judge on Thursday morning affirmed her earlier decision to allow a civil lawsuit to proceed against Assemblyman Guy Houston, R-San Ramon.

In the nearly three-year-old lawsuit, elderly investors Gerald Stefanski, Samuel and Joann Story, and Carol Tomasa argue that Houston should be held liable for the $340,000 they lost when their investments with Fred Houston, the assemblyman’s father, went sour.

Houston has adamantly denied involvement in his father’s business dealings and has called the case politically motivated. It was filed shortly before his 2004 re-election campaign.

Houston’s attorney, Michael Rupprecht, had asked the judge to dismiss the case, arguing in court documents that the lawsuit lacked merit.

Judge Winifred Smith denied Rupprecht’s motion but she made her ruling based on procedural matters, not on the details of the lawsuit.

That leaves the door open for Rupprecht to seek a continuation of the Sept. 14 trial date, which, if granted, would allow him to file further motions asking the court to toss out the case.

Click here for Tuesday’s full story on the details of the lawsuit.

Lisa Vorderbrueggen