Little Mexico Is Getting Smaller One House at a Time
In last week's paper version of Unfair Park, we looked at some homeowners on McKinnon Street who are being bullied by Uptown developer Harwood International. Gary Scott, an attorney acting as a middle man for Harwood, was at the center of the controversy between the homeowners and Harwood.
In the story, we described how Scott purchased 6 percent ownership in 2921 McKinnon Street, where Paul Santillan is the family spokesman for the home owned by his late grandfather, Ramon Rodriguez. Scott sold the 6 percent to Harwood, and now the family must get Harwood’s approval to sell to anyone else. Santillan said his two cousins, Monique and Marissa Rodriguez, were tricked into selling their interest in the property to Scott.
Santillan provided us with a phone number and address for his cousins, but it turned out that they no longer lived there. Therefore, it was noted in the story that they could not be reached for comment. However, Monique Rodriguez made a call once the story appeared in print. And she says that she, her sister and grandmother Stefana were harassed by Scott. She says he called her house constantly. “When I say he was calling us, I mean our caller ID was blown up with his calls,” Rodriguez tells Unfair Park.
She made it clear that Santillan was handling the house for the family, but Scott showed her a contract that was signed by Santillan and other family members, which Santillan got out of because the closing had been delayed several times. Rodriguez says Scott represented himself as the family attorney and told her that the rest of the family didn’t want them to get their share of the money.
“Yeah, he did trick us. What he did was wrong,” she says. “He should not have contacted us and shouldn’t have told us half of what he did, because it was untrue.”
Only after Rodriguez got a call from the real family attorney did she realize what happened. “At that time, we really didn’t care about the money or anything,” she says. “We just wanted him off our backs.”
After her father died five years ago, Rodriguez says, her relationship with the family has been distant. Santillan says, “I don’t know if I’d recognize who they were if I saw them.” Since they sold their 6 percent of the property, no one has been in contact with Rodriguez or her sister -- except for sending a “mean letter” once they sold to Scott, she says.
“We both feel bad, but what can we do now?” she tells Unfair Park. “The only family that we had left of the Rodriguez’s no longer speaks to us because of Gary Scott and the whole situation that went down.”
Scott claimed Rodriguez was simply ready to sell, but she says that is untrue. “The only reason why we signed is because he showed us signatures from the other family members on a contract,” Rodriguez says. “It’s all because of greed and money; that’s all Gary Scott wanted.”
We also heard from Fred De La Garza, who was mentioned in the story as moving into 3015 McKinnon Street soon. This was information provided by the real estate broker for that house, Grayson Von Buren. But De La Garza says he has no plans to move back into the home that he left in 1969.
De La Garza also pointed out that his sister Marie Ybarra was mistakenly confused for his late sister Mandy in the story. Ybarra, referenced in the story as “his late sister,” is very much alive and lives in Richardson. Our apologizes. --Sam Merten