After seven years through civil and criminal court, a former Dripping Springs Water Supply Corporation (DSWSC) general manager is being denied over $700,000 in retirement.
Doug Cones’ name was cleared in December 2017 after he was accused of stealing up to $20,000 in property, costing him his job at DSWSC and the termination of his retirement contract. The criminal charges were dropped in March 2018.
In his final judgment on the case filed April 30, 428th District Judge Bill Henry awarded Cones $1,438,454.20 in damages including attorney fees.
However, Henry did not award Cones the $731,417.40 awarded to him by the jury during his trial, which accounts for his retirement contract that was terminated when he was hired by the corporation.
“It’s a disappointing decision, but Cones has to focus on living his life now,” said Joe Pool, the attorney representing Cones. “It’s not perfect justice. I don’t believe the final judgment is made with good constitutionalism. A good republican or democrat enforces the decision of the jury.”
Cones will have the opportunity to appeal, but the process could take anywhere between 18 months to two years. If deferred to the Texas Supreme Court, Cones would not receive a final decision for at least four years.
At the time of publication of this article, Cones has not decided if he will appeal. He has 30 days to make a decision.
Before the DSWSC board fired Cones in 2011, he signed a retirement contract that would grant him an annual salary of $46,761.16 a year for 20 years. Once he was terminated at the company on the false criminal charges, the retirement contract was revoked.
“I’m not happy with the decision, but I have some time to decide what my next step is,” Cones said. “At this time I am not ready to comment what we will do.”
The News-Dispatch reached out to Henry for comment on the ruling. Henry did not respond for comment before press time.