Clay Jenkins was accused of exploiting his position as Dallas County Judge to facilitate taking over the law firm of a dead colleague, according to court documents recently reviewed by The Dallas Express.
In 2016, well-known personal injury attorney Brian “The Strong Arm” Loncar died of a cocaine overdose shortly after his daughter committed suicide.
Clay Jenkins allegedly used the tragedy as an opportunity to enrich himself, first by finagling his way into becoming executor of the Loncar estate, then by selling himself Loncar’s law firm, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.
The legal battles surrounding the estate stretch across several different lawsuits and contain allegations of impropriety, conflict of interest, and potentially unlawful activity by Jenkins as he maneuvered himself into ownership of the firm.
Brian Loncar’s father, Phil Loncar, acted as the original executor of the estate before Jenkins allegedly coerced him to resign “by fraud, through the use of artifice and deceit,” according to court documents.
In the months following Brian Loncar’s death, Jenkins allegedly began acting as the de facto manager of the firm and “immediately called meetings of the Loncar Law Firm attorneys and personnel and pronounced that he was in charge of the firm from that point forward.”
However, according to Phil Loncar, several employees reported that “Jenkins … used his office as County Judge to bring everyone in line.”
Court filings suggested, “Jenkins brazenly declared at meetings … that, because he was County Judge, he could get things done in cases and for the clients that no one else could.”
Specifically, “Jenkins bragged to long-term employees of the Loncar Law Firm that the Dallas Police Department would ‘adjust’ or ‘alter’ police reports and/or testimony to suit Jenkins’s needs and to advance the interest of the firm and its clients’ cases.”
When some of those employees “questioned about how he could possibly get that done and, more importantly, why, Jenkins responded that he was their boss and, as such, ‘why wouldn’t they do it?’” according to claims in court filings.
The Texas Rules of Disciplinary Procedure, which governs acceptable conduct for attorneys, specifically stipulate that “Disbarment is generally appropriate when a Respondent in an official or governmental position knowingly misuses the position with the intent to obtain a significant benefit or advantage for himself or another.”
Furthermore, if Jenkins used his position as county judge to influence the testimony of law enforcement officials to receive more beneficial rulings in his law practice, it could open him up to criminal investigations.
In response to these accusations by Phil Loncar, Jenkins argued that the court lacked “subject-matter jurisdiction,” in part because the lawsuit was filed in Collin County instead of Dallas County, where Jenkins himself serves as county judge.
The court agreed and dismissed the case without hearing anything further about the accusations.
However, others connected to the administering of Brian Loncar’s estate and the operation of Loncar’s law firm also alleged that Jenkins acted improperly and, in some cases, unlawfully.
The longtime chief financial officer of Loncar’s business, Toby Toudouze, claimed in legal filings, “Jenkins has illegally and wrongfully exercised complete and unfettered dominion and control over … the Loncar Firm, to both funnel millions of dollars to himself personally and to cover-up and conceal illegal and wrongful activities that he engaged in with the firm in the past.”
Others suggested that Jenkins sought to cover up the potentially unlawful funneling of over $450,000 to a shell company called KMA Capital, seemingly in violation of the Texas legal code, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.
Brian Loncar’s widow, Sue Loncar, accused Jenkins of “helping to divert substantial dollars in referral fees to entities that were not licensed to practice law, like KMA. Jenkins knew he should not pay referral fees to these entities, but he did so anyway.”
The U.S. Attorney’s Office Northern District of Texas told The Dallas Express that they were unable to “confirm or deny investigations unless and until charges are filed” after being asked if Clay Jenkins is currently under federal investigation, considering his history of alleged financial and political impropriety.