A letter of engagement from Knight & Partners was approved at Tuesday night's meeting with Machacek being forced to cast the deciding vote. Newly elected councilman Joey Thompson and councilwoman Liz Holsey also voted for bringing on Knight & Partners to mentor City Attorney Ashford Taylor. Councilmen Buddy Zavesky and Lionel Garcia voted against the item while newly elected councilwoman Cheryl Worley abstained.
Machacek refused to comment Tuesday night when asked who had recommended Knight & Partners.
Von Dohlen said Wednesday he has worked with Knight & Partners. According to city records, Von Dohlen contributed $1,000 on March 21, 2014 to the Goliad Citizens for Effective Government, a PAC that supported Machacek, Thompson and Worley during the May mayoral and city council elections.
Several Goliad citizens approached Machacek and Thompson after Tuesday night's meeting claiming the council's decision was a conflict of interest.
"I have no interests in anything that Barney's law firm does," Von Dohlen said. "My son, Chris, who is an attorney, and we work together, has no interests in Barney's law firm. We worked together some years ago on a project down in Duval County with a juvenile detention facility. That's where I got to see how excellent he is in terms of dealing with difficult issues. There's nothing to scratch my back about."
Von Dohlen said Machacek was likely hesitant to reveal who recommended the law firm to her because she did not want to upset him.
"I would imagine that Anna didn't know what my reaction would be to say that I was the one who suggested (Knight & Partners)," Von Dohlen said. "But I had no objection to it, whatsoever. I'm glad I had the opportunity to do it. People need to understand that he will be a huge asset in helping Goliad move forward in the future. That's what they ought to be looking at."
More on this story coming to mySouTex.com.