Mediation Yields Bankruptcy Resolution; Also Includes Arrest
Thursday, September, 13, 2018
Billy Abraham was recently arrested during a bankruptcy mediation session in El Paso County.
A warrant for Abraham’s arrest was issued a few weeks before when an El Paso County grand jury indicted him on two felony charges, as well as witness tampering, attempted bribery, fabricating evidence, and forgery. The charges all stem back to an event in July 2017 related to a broken elevator.
According to the attorney overseeing the mediation, it was the first time an arrest or anything comparable had ever occurred under his watch. He claimed the arrest was a complete surprise and he was not even aware of the warrant.
Those involved in the mediation prior to the arrest claim it was not going all that well, but they were able to reach an agreement after Abraham was taken from the room. They determined the bankruptcy trustee would sell 13 properties in the next two months to liquidate funds to pay creditors. According to Abraham’s attorney, his client was not in agreement with this arrangement and the deal was between only the City of El Paso, the bankruptcy trustee, and the Downtown Renaissance.
The settlement reached in mediation means Abraham’s property can be put up for auction and end decades of problems between him and city officials. He owns many of El Paso’s iconic and historic landmarks, but many criticize him for not tending to the properties. Over the years a number of lawsuits have arisen for violations of city codes and tax evasion.
The most recent issue concerning the elevator arose over the safety of the system located in the Toltec Building. According to two witnesses, the elevator is unsafe and had not undergone an inspection in nearly a decade.