LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Shane Smith, the former chief financial officer for the Reagor-Dykes Auto Group, has filed a protective order and a motion to extend time to respond to questions in other cases connected to potential criminal investigations.
The protective order would block a discovery period in the case in which Smith is one of many defendants who are being sued by FirstBank & Trust. With a delay in the discovery period Smith would not be obligated to give information on his involvement with anything stemming the case, saving him from any self-incrimination via his Fifth Amendment rights.
In December, Smith and others were notified of formal request for information about possible involvement in the case was needed, with 30 days to respond. Smith’s motion states that because during that 30 days there were federal holidays, in which courts and other firms were closed, the ability to answer questions in an effective manner were hindered.
“Second, Defendant Smith not only has to determine the answers and documents to each question, but also has the added issue of determining which issues to respond to and which issues will require the assertion of the Fifth Amendment privilege,” Court documents state. "As such, Defendant Smith requests an additional 21 days to respond to the Discovery requests.
Court documents also state, though there is not a criminal case, Smith is asking for the protective order as a way to not incriminate himself by giving information for other related cases in the matter. There is no indictment that would indicate any wrongdoing in any matter, but that does not mean he is completely safe from self-incrimination if the court does not grant his motion.
The case is still in its early stages and if litigation continues into discovery there could be possible legal prejudice against Smith if there are any criminal investigations pending.
Lawyers with FirstBank & Trust have granted Smith’s request and are not opposed to an extension time, which would bring his deadline to respond to discovery requests to Feb. 4.
“Here, Smith reasonably apprehends risk of self-incrimination if he were to waive his Fifth Amendment rights and cooperate with discovery and this case, as Rick Dykes has plead in another case that an investigation has commenced,”court documents state. “Further, any potential criminal case would be directly related to the civil proceeding here and its underlying facts, and therefore Defendant Smith cannot respond to discovery without providing information that could be used against him in a criminal investigation or case.”