Three lawsuits accuse the City of Dallas of unfairly taking vehicles and even an entire office building that the city does not own.
Parties that claim to be the rightful owners are suing to get the vehicles back or keep the city from taking the building.
The office building on Highway 67 at Hampton road is on Dallas Executive Airport property, with a ground lease from the city that was first signed in 1975.
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Trey Cox, the attorney for building owner Oxley Leasing, said a property manager died and paperwork about the lease extension two years ago can’t be found.
“And so they're trying to take advantage of that, even though we've paid every single dollar in rent since the renewal date,” Cox said. “The City of Dallas is trying to take not only the property back, the lease hold, but also all of the improvements and investment that Oxley leasing has made on the property.”
NBC 5 asked Cox to review two other lawsuits that he is not involved with that accuse the City of Dallas of refusing to return stolen cars that wound up in the Dallas police impound lot.
Cox said he sees a pattern.
“The city is down on its luck and they're taking more opportunistic advantage of the citizens of Dallas to fill their coffers or decrease their expenses,” Cox said.
One of the other lawsuits claims a stolen 2017 Maserati Levante that is rightfully owned by a bank is being used by police for their own purposes.
Another lawsuit claims a 2019 Honda Civic that was stolen from Vandergriff Honda in Arlington is being used as a police bait car.
Police leave bait cars in high theft areas. The cars are equipped with cameras to record video of thieves who steal them.
“It looked like they were just using the vehicles. It's something the city needed, so the city took them,” Cox said.
Dallas City Hall is facing a COVID-19 budget crisis with sales tax revenue way down and violent crime rising.
“But one thing that's not right is breaking your word, going back on your deal, or trying to take property from somebody else. There's no conditions that justify that,” Cox said.
The City of Dallas declined comment on the lawsuits Friday.