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Monday, February 8, 2021

Report: Bexar County opioid lawsuit attorney Martin Phipps arrested over harassment claims

Posted By on Mon, Feb 8, 2021 at 4:36 PM

click to enlarge Martin Phipps (center) shown in a holiday photo released by his law firm. - FACEBOOK / PHIPPS MAYES PLLC
  • Facebook / Phipps Mayes PLLC
  • Martin Phipps (center) shown in a holiday photo released by his law firm.
San Antonio police have arrested Martin Phipps, name partner in a law firm representing Bexar County in its billion-dollar opioid lawsuit, the Express-News reports, citing three sources familiar with the matter.

A San Antonio Police Department spokeswoman confirmed the arrest to the Current but had no other details to provide at press time.

Phipps, 51, who also owns posh downtown bar Paramour, is under investigation for harassing a woman with whom he previously had a romantic relationship, according to the daily's report, which notes that he hasn't yet been booked.

Phipps was unavailable for immediate comment on the story, as was Gabe Ortiz, a lawyer who's previously spoken on his behalf.

The Express-News report comes after attorney T.J. Mayes, a former chief of staff to Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, and others at Phipps' firm resigned last month saying it was a hostile workplace. Mayes tweeted that he left because his former boss is "crook and a serial abuser of women."

Mayes subsequently filed complaints against Phipps with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Texas Bar Association.

Phipps' firm, Phipps Deacon and Purnell, has denied Mayes' claims.

"Unfortunately, social media gives anyone the platform to spew unfounded libelous accusations," Ortiz, the attorney who speaks on Phipps' behalf, told Texas Public Radio.

Last week, KSAT news and the San Antonio Business Journal jointly reported that a subsidiary of PNC Bank had repossessed Phipps's private jet because he'd defaulted on $1.7 million owed on the plane.

County Judge Nelson Wolff last week told the Current that he'd asked county attorney Larry Roberson to look into what effect the allegations against Phipps could have on a pending settlement of its opioid suit. However, he emphasized that the inquiry was a civil matter and not a criminal probe into Phipps.

"It's one of the messiest affairs I've seen, and I've been around a long time," Wolff said.

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