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Six-figure student loan lawsuit adds another layer to contentious district court judge race

Six-figure student loan lawsuit adds another layer to contentious district court judge race
Written by Publishing Team

Saint Anthony An already controversial race for a Bexar County judicial office added another layer of intrigue after court records revealed that one of the candidates is accused of defaulting on more than $100,000 in student loans and interest.

Candidate Nadine Nieto, who is running against Lisa Oreste Dasher in 285th District Court, was sued by the US Attorney’s Office in 2010 after they alleged she owed $101,580.20 in student loans and interest owed. Nieto has also been the subject of multiple liens, tax lawsuits, and court filings dating back to the late 1990s, according to KSAT 12 Defenders.

During an interview with advocates last week, Nieto said the lawsuit included an embellished amount of what she owed, but she admitted not keeping detailed records of the loans she took out.

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“At first, things aren’t that great,” Nieto said, referring to the student loans she took to attend the University of Texas at Austin and then Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University in Houston, “and you probably don’t pay as much attention to detail as you should be.”

Neto claimed during the interview that she had been making payments on loans prior to filing the lawsuit over a decade ago. She also previously contested the amount owed and debated whether part of her handwriting – and even if it was her signature – was on the stock.

During the 2011 filing of her KSAT 12 lawsuit, Nieto was asked if she had an “approximate figure” for the amount she borrowed for her college and law school years. She answered “No,” according to a copy of the statement.

When asked if she keeps loan records, she answers “I haven’t.”

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Records show that after the government issued a ruling for the full amount in early 2012, Nieto appealed the ruling to the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

April 2011 Nadine Nieto filed in a lawsuit relating to the default of a student loan from the United States Attorney’s Office. (KSAT)

“We really need to find out the real reason for the amount owed here. This is how the litigation began,” Neto said last week.

Neto said she agreed to drop the appeal later that year as part of a confidential settlement asking her to pay about $78,000, about $30,000 less than the amount she owed at that point.

Neto said she paid a total of $10,000 and then paid just over $328 a month for nearly a decade.

She acquitted the final amount of about $6,000 owed in early September, but she argues that payment was made because she decided to run for a 285th District Court judge.

“I know it has nothing to do with me running for office, if that is the implication,” Neto said.

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Bexar County Clerk records show that she was released from federal lien on the same day that state records show she appointed a treasurer for her campaign to judge.

Describing the joint history as a “coincidence,” Nieto said the last payment was made so she could have a clear bond when buying a new home.

Other liens and lawsuits

Unrelated court records show that Travis County sentenced her to just over $6,000 against Nieto in 1997. She asserted that the address in the judgment was her previous address, but could not recall any details from the case.

She said a separate 2001 lien filed against her law firm for less than $400 was due to unpaid employee taxes owed to the Texas Manpower Commission.

Multiple entities, including the Northeast Independent School District and the city of Castle Hills, won a judgment against Nieto in 2005 over what it described as unpaid taxes on the purchase of office supplies at its law firm.

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The IRS also targeted Neto in the 2000s, claiming she owed more than she paid in income taxes from her private legal practice. Like her student loan lawsuit, Neto said she was able to settle the case for a much smaller amount.

“What I have mentioned shows that in fact I will fight for what is right and will pay what is due. I don’t think there is any voter in Pixar County who will not challenge something they do not owe,” said Neto.

Circuit judge candidate Nadine Nieto. (KSAT)

What does Nito’s opponent say?

However, her Democratic opponent in the primaries in March took advantage of the court records.

“It is concerning. It is concerning that Nadine Netto might run for this position, despite her background and despite her usual disregard for the law. She appears unqualified to be a judge,” said Lisa Oreste Dasher.

Uresti-Dasher, who works as Nieto who is a San Antonio attorney and a graduate of South San Antonio High School and later the University of Texas, won a bid by Nieto earlier this month to get her off the primary ballot in March.

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Last month, Nieto filed a lawsuit claiming that Uresti-Dasher’s application for the position of judge contained “several facial defects” that rendered the application invalid.

A two-day virtual hearing to determine Uresti-Dasher’s political fate revealed significant blood corruption between the two campaigns.

The hearing focused on whether Uresti-Dasher had applied using her legal name and provided inaccurate information about her length of stay in Texas and Bexar County.

Uresti-Dasher is the daughter of Bexar County tax collector Albert Uresti and niece of former Texas Senator Carlos Oresti, who is currently serving a 12-year prison sentence for federal fraud and money laundering convictions.

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After Nieto’s attorney filed a request to keep certain evidence out of the hearing, including previous court files relating to Nieto, Uresti-Dasher’s attorney responded.

The law is very, very clear. When you ask for extraordinary relief, you have to come to court with clean hands, Andrew Toscano, Uresti-Dasher’s attorney, said during the hearing. Repeat the “clean hands” observation several times during the procedures.

“Trying to embarrass either side about things that may or may not be something you don’t want to get into is irrelevant to any issue in the case. We’re not trying to try anything,” Neto’s attorney Roy Barrett said during the hearing, defending his movement. Secretly, and we’re not trying to rule out the press, and we’re not trying to do any of those things.”

At the conclusion of the hearing, visiting judge John Gabriel denied Nieto’s request for a temporary injunction, allowing Oreste Dasher to remain on the preliminary ballot.

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The specific legal issues of Nieto were not addressed.

“The judge made a clear determination that her claims lacked all merit, and now I’m on the ballot, now voters can decide if they want to vote for someone who pays their taxes,” Uresti-Dasher said.

Uresti-Dasher confirmed to defenders that it filed a formal complaint against Nieto in late November.

District judge candidate, Lisa Oreste Dasher, said it appears her Democratic primary opponent, Nadine Nieto, is ineligible to be a judge. (KSAT)

In the complaint, which Nieto must respond to by the end of this month, Uresti-Dasher writes that Nieto “constantly spreads lies about me. I’ve heard her tell people that I’m a housewife, I don’t practice law.”

“I respect all housewives, I respect all housewives, I have children and I am a proud mother and a proud wife. But I am also a proud lawyer,” Orsti Dacher told KSAT.

An attorney representing Uresti-Dasher also sent Nieto and her campaign manager a cease and desist letter in early December, asking them to stop making “defamatory statements” about his client.

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“Her comments just kept getting bigger, and the white lies are getting bigger,” Orsti Dacher told KSAT.

Uresti-Dasher told KSAT that the inaccuracy in her application for the position of judge paled in comparison to Nieto’s previous legal issues.

But questions about the accuracy of Uresti-Dasher go beyond the scope of its application.

During an interview with KSAT earlier this month, Uresti-Dasher claimed that she never worked with her uncle, former state senator Carlos Uresti, and instead had an office in his building like many other lawyers.

However, in the 2018 sentencing memorandum in the Orsti federal criminal case, Orsti Dasher was quoted as saying that she worked for her uncle’s law firm in her early years as a lawyer.

He never hesitated to help those who came to his office. Even when people didn’t have the money to pay, he would tell me, “Just help them…I’ll continue to make up for your time.” And he certainly compensated me, even though he did not always get paid by his clients,” the note states.

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Uresti-Dasher attempted to provide clarification via email this week, writing that she was compensated by her uncle as a contract attorney

“So, to be clear, I didn’t say I wasn’t compensated by him; I said I wasn’t employed by him,” Uresti-Dasher wrote in an email.

During a court hearing earlier this month, Uresti-Dasher testified that she was never an employee of the Wisconsin attorney general’s office, but instead simply participated in an internship in that state as part of her law school attendance there.

In her complaint to the state bar against Nieto, Uresti-Dasher wrote that her legal experience included starting her career in the Wisconsin attorney general’s office, where she led trials as a juvenile prosecutor.

“The kind of person that should be on this platform is someone who is trustworthy and has told the truth during the campaign. And I know we can look at other things beyond that, but I don’t think she can show that I have been dishonest about anything,” said Neto. .

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Early voting is scheduled to begin on March 1.

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