judge ordered

Why bankruptcy judge declined to hold Chris Pettit in contempt

Christopher “Chris” Pettit, the ex-San Antonio attorney accused of absconding with millions of dollars of clients’ money, has again avoided being held in contempt of court in his bankruptcy case — for now.

At an emergency hearing Thursday, Chief U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Craig Gargotta declined to grant the Chapter 11 trustee’s request to hold Pettit in contempt for violating a court order prohibiting him from transferring or disposing of any of his personal property.

But the judge ordered Pettit — who has been living in an $8 million mansion at Disney World while working as a $15.75-an-hour cook on the resort’s grounds — to appear in the San Antonio court next week to show why he shouldn’t be sanctioned for violating the court’s order.

“Mr. Pettit, I know you work. I know you’re in Florida. Can’t do much about that,” Gargotta told Pettit, who appeared by video. “You need to be here on Sept. 8.”

Trustee Eric Terry requested the emergency hearing after one of his lawyers, Patrick Huffstickler, got a phone call from Rob Vogt of Vogt Auction Galleries.

Vogt told him that someone had come by the business to inquire about selling personal property at a house on

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