The volunteer caretakers of that venerable shrine of Texas history we know as The Alamo just received a likely knockout punch from the state by being stripped of their duties.
But they’re not out of the count yet — not at least without trying to land some blows of their own against the state.
The Daughters of the Republic of Texas, or DRT, filed a lawsuit Monday against the General Land Office, the state agency put in charge of oversight of The Alamo.
It could be the first real public controversy for rising GOP star George P. Bush, son of likely presidential candidate Jeb Bush who took over as Texas land commissioner last year.
The DRT is taking Bush and his agency to court after he decided earlier this month to fire them as managers of the Alamo.
In a news release on March 12, Bush said that “the GLO has determined to change its day to day management from the DRT and move in a new direction,” citing a four-month transition period until he picks a new manager.
That same release included a statement from DRT leader Ellen McCaffrey. She wasn’t too hot on Bush’s decision, noting that it didn’t reflect poorly on the group’s involvement with the Alamo, which goes back to 1905.
But now the group feels GLO is adding insult to injury by stripping not just decision-making away but also trying to take away the 38,000-item Alamo library the DRT claims it worked hard to build from scratch.
The group’s lawsuit against GLO, filed in Bexar County on Monday, accuse Bush and his minions of “an unlawful attempt to take the organization’s private property.”
The DRT’s lawyer on the case, Lamont Jefferson, said that the GLO realizes that the daughters mean business — but they’re willing and hoping to reach an agreement out of court.
“For months, the Daughters of the Republic of Texas attempted in good faith to resolve differences of opinion with the State over the ownership and management of the DRT’s library collection,” Jefferson said in a statement on Monday. “The recent actions by the State, which occurred suddenly and without the opportunity for meaningful dialogue, left the DRT with no alternative but to file this lawsuit.”
The GLO has remained mum, citing a policy of not commenting pending legal action.
DRT Lawsuit Against The General Land Office
If they’re gonna go down, it won’t be quietly.