The move is a voluntary one, according to an agreement filed with the courts between attorneys representing Goodwin and the Bee Cave City Council members.
In the agreement, Goodwin recognizes council members involved in the legal dispute have filed an appeal on the June decision and agrees not to “appear and present himself as a City Council member at a Bee Cave City Council meeting or otherwise assert that he has any present authority to act as a City Council member for the city of Bee Cave until such time as defendants/ appellants' appeal has been finally decided,” the agreement stated.
The defendants in the case are Mayor Kara King; Mayor Pro Tem Andrew Clark; and Council Members Jon Cobb, Kevin Hight and Andrea Willott. They have appealed the June decision from State District Judge Lora Livingston to the Texas 3rd Court of Appeals.
City Manager Clint Garza said the city's position is the district court made an error in deciding in favor of Goodwin and intends to have the matter decided in its appeal.
“The city remains confident that council, as a home-rule city, was operating within the charter when it voted to remove Bill Goodwin,” Garza said.
Council members voted unanimously June 17, 2020, to remove Goodwin from the City Council. Goodwin’s attorney, Bill Aleshire, said his client is allowing the appeals to play out in court.
“Bill recognizes they have appealed the final judgment, and he agrees to not assert a present right, right now, to serve on the City Council until the appeals are settled,” Aleshire said.
The dispute between Goodwin and council members also involves a second legal action against Council Member Courtney Hohl, who stepped up to the dais in the wake of Goodwin’s departure and a special called election.
Aleshire said Hohl was misinformed when told there was an available seat on the council and that Goodwin has filed suit against Hohl in an attempt to have the court rule whether he or Hohl has title to the council seat with a term expiring in May 2022.
“To this day we say [Goodwin] is not even out of office,” Aleshire said.
A ruling out of the 53rd District Court found the court lacked jurisdiction to decide the matter. That decision from the district court is now on appeal by Goodwin before the 3rd Court of Appeals.