Lawyers John Griffin and Cal Bobbit say the administrator of Jack Findley’s estate, and sister, Annie Ruth Findley Jones, was unaware of any attempts to demolish the Luther Hotel. The two lawyers represent plaintiffs in the case who want to preserve the hotel.
Opponents to the demolition of the historic hotel were encouraged by the conversation with Jones which took place as part of deposition in Scottsboro, Alabama.
“Ms. Jones was firm in her belief that the Luther Hotel should not be demolished by the family, and that the hotel should be sold to the buyer with the best offer,” Griffin said. “Surprisingly, she said she wasn’t aware of any attempts to demolish the hotel. She testified that she wants to honor Jack’s intentions, which were to preserve the hotel, and said that Jack’s love for it was a 10 on a scale of 1 to 10.”
Jones also testified that she had no knowledge of other offers on the hotel, results of recent architectural reports or that the Texas Historical Commission and the National Trust for Historic Preservation are opposing demolition.
“What is apparent is that certain individuals have placed documents in front of her and asked her to sign them, taking advantage of her trust and her advanced age,” Griffin said. “She said that it was never her intent keep the heirs and the public in the dark about developments with the hotel. Ms. Jones said that she didn’t know how much of the estate’s funds have been dissipated since Jack’s death, but that there are check books that should reveal that.”
As the deposition of Jones was taking place, another demolition application was filed by the estate’s lawyer, Richard Leshin, with the Texas Historical Commission and denied again. The commission initiated another 90-day moratorium to protect the hotel.
The next hearing regarding accounting of the estate will take place on Wednesday, May 24 at 2 p.m. on Judge Polly Spencer’s YouTube channel. Accounting information has previously been requested and not submitted.
“All in all, it was encouraging that Ms. Jones wants what the rest of us want,” Griffin said. “She wants the hotel to be preserved and sold for the best price to a party who will respect it and not demolish it.”
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