by Max Brantley
The growing band of activists watching for abusive practices in shale gas exploration were buzzing last night about a complaint filed Monday in Cleburne County that alleges official connivance in the filing of improperly executed gas leases. A Facebook post here elaborates.
The allegation is contained in a class action lawsuit filed by a Memphis law firm on behalf of three Cleburne County residents.
They discovered a lease on file for their property had not been signed by them before a notary whose seal indicated witness to their signing. They claim a notary subsquently told them she notarized hundreds of leases that were then filed with the county clerk though they had not been signed in her presence by the mineral rights owners. The suit contends the falsely notarized leases should be voided. The suit contends the clerk has been accepting and filing false oil and gas leases since 2003.
A lawsuit is just an allegation, as they say. But if true ..... there will be a lot of money on this table.