By DUARDO PAZ-MARTINEZ | Editor of The Avenger
BROWNSVILLE, Texas – Sources tell us Blogger Jerry McHale and OP 10.33 honcho Mike Hernandez, III have been communicating for days, but it was the surprising disappearance this afternoon of McHale’s popular blog that set the wheels in motion on the possibility of an out-of-court settlement.
McHale was sued this past summer by Dallas-area businessman Hernandez in a court filing that went to defamation, one in which Hernandez sought $1 million in damages to his reputation. A millionaire said to be worth nine figures, Hernandez is the man behind the OP 10.33 initiative that has embedded itself in Brownsville politics, its public schools and its economy, all in an effort to improve life in the city.
Hernandez’s arrival earlier this year, however, had been met by vigorous opposition by the city’s bloggers, McHale (shown in photo at right) being one. Hernandez alleged that McHale calling him a “fraud” in one of his postings constituted libel, hence the lawsuit.
The Avenger has contacted both McHale and Hernandez for comment.
This may just be McHale deleting his blog for a variety of reasons, boredom included, but Hernandez has made it known that he wishes McHale gone from Brownsville and that he cease writing about him or about Op 10.33.
McHale replied to our inquiry, saying, “We have a continuance with no re-set date. We hope to meet in the near future.”
Hernandez, shown in photo at left, threw this at us via Email: “No. I haven’t had an opportunity to speak with him yet.”
Online, The McHale Report is showing only a blank screen. And, of course, it could just be some Internet snafu. Still, perhaps the idea of resolving this soon will somehow enter the picture. No one wants this litigation around after the first of the new year…
UPDATE: The McHale Report is back online. Wild, I know.
AVENGER Editor Duardo Paz-Martinez notes this: In our dealings with Blogger McHale and Mike Hernandez, we have found both men to be straight-up guys who do not need to be in court. Perhaps McHale is making the first move toward resolution by killing his blog as a way to appease Hernandez. He was not being very forthcoming this afternoon, but it’s early in the day. Hernandez sent us a reply indicating the situation remained where it’s been for a few weeks. Awaiting progress, yeah…