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January 9, 2017      5:06 PM

Judge orders American Phoenix Foundation to be seized and dissolved

Bresnen is one major step closer to obtaining the foundation’s financial records; Joe Basel appeared in court and promised an appeal

On the day before the Texas Legislature gavels into session, the man who led an effort to secretly film members, lobbyists and others during the last session appeared in a Travis County courtroom in a lawsuit against the American Phoenix Foundation.

The nonprofit’s founder, Joe Basel, said the APF is now “defunct.”

Basel had gone silent during the course of the lawsuit filed by veteran lobbyist Steve Bresnen over the last several months. Basel failed to show up at hearings and refused to talk even to his own attorney. That attorney, Ben Wetmore, resigned from the case after telling a judge that Basel had become completely non-responsive.

Bresnen, a former general counsel to Lt. Gov. Bob Bullock, sued the Phoenix Foundation in an effort to compel it to release its financial information as required by Texas law for a nonprofit with no members.  

By Scott Braddock

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