Dewhurst, Houston oilman settle lawsuit over funds

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Former Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst has settled a lawsuit he filed against a Houston oilman over disputed funds linked to an imprisoned ex-political adviser.

Terms of the out-of-court settlement involving Michael Looney were not released, the San Antonio Express-News ( ) reported Tuesday.

Court documents indicate Looney was a partner with ex-Dewhurst aide Kenneth "Buddy" Barfield in an energy venture. Barfield pleaded guilty last fall to wire fraud, making a false tax return and embezzlement of campaign funds. He is currently serving more than seven years in prison.

Barfield stole $2.8 million in campaign funds from Dewhurst, according to court documents.

Dewhurst sued Barfield in 2013, to try to get some of the money back. That lawsuit was settled when Barfield signed over his multimillion-dollar Austin home as part of the agreement.

Dewhurst's lawyers also sued Looney, alleging he received "several hundred thousand dollars" of stolen funds.

Looney had no knowledge that Barfield used stolen money, the oilman's attorneys have said. They declined comment on the settlement.

Barfield ran Dewhurst's unsuccessful 2012 campaign for U.S. Senate. Dewhurst failed in his 2014 re-election bid for lieutenant governor.

Barfield acknowledged stealing $2.8 million over a five-year period from Dewhurst, a Republican. Campaign officials alleged that he siphoned more than $5 million from various funds over an even longer period of time.

Barfield was ordered to repay $2.5 million and $427,000 in back taxes.


Information from: San Antonio Express-News,