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She told the jury that after a review of the pleadings, discovery, personnel files and investigative reports in the Green case, she concluded he had been subjected to retaliation by state officials. She said it was important to prevent the kind of treatment Mr. Green received, “otherwise people lose faith in their government.”

Ms. Jordan had never testified as an expert witness before and she died less than three months after the trial ended.

In Texas, when a person is awarded a judgment against the state, the Legislature has to approve the payments as an administrative act. But some lawmakers refused, saying they opposed the award of punitive damages. Two bills were introduced to appropriate the funds, but neither passed.

In the best interest?

Robert Junell, then-chairman of the State House Appropriations Committee, said because he was obligated to taxpayers to deny “excessive” judgments, he said he recommended against the $13.7 million jury award. The committee offered to settle the case for $5.5 million, but Mr. Green rejected the deal, saying it wouldn’t honor the jury’s verdict or cover his attorney fees.

“We very carefully reviewed every judgment case that came before the committee and we were not about to rubber-stamp one we believed to be excessive,” Mr. Junell said. “As stewards of state funds, we did the right thing and moved on.

“I had assumed Mr. Green had done the same.”

Named by President Bush in 2003 as a federal judge in Midland, Texas, Mr. Junell said the Green case came up during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Sen. Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont, then the panel’s ranking Democrat, asked why he refused to pay the full amount.

“A lot of people risk everything to point out waste or corruption — why did you want to deny Mr. Green his full award?” Mr. Leahy asked.

Mr. Junell said that under the law of sovereign immunity, a state cannot commit a legal wrong and is immune from a civil suit or criminal prosecution. He said while there was no cap at the time on the damages that could be paid to Mr. Green, he needed to apply for legislative approval and when he did his application was rejected by the committee.

Rejected by the Legislature, Mr. Green and his then-attorney, John C. Augustine, contacted Lt. Gov. Bob Bullock, who chaired the State Legislative Budget Board, which approved appropriations. In a Sept. 21, 1995, letter, Mr. Augustine said his client would settle all claims and causes of action against the state in return for the payment of the original $13.7 million jury award.

By then, the amount owed to Mr. Green had grown to $20.3 million because of accumulated interest and was growing at a rate of $5,500 a day.

“I was forced to accept the fact that the Texas state government would not honor a jury order to pay me for my damages,” Mr. Green said. “My family, my life literally, was drained of the energy to fight on, so I settled.”

On Nov. 15, 1995, the Legislative Budget Board approved a “Release and Settlement Agreement” that was ratified that day by then-Gov. George W. Bush.

The deal, drafted for the state by Harry G. Potter III, a Texas special assistant attorney general, called for Mr. Green to receive a payment of $3.4 million up front, monthly payments over a three-year period, and two lump-sum payments of $3 million and $1.7 million in January 1999. The money was for the loss of “earning capacity, mental anguish and suffering” and for additional personal injuries.

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