Citizens (D) filed a charter application in 1978. D heard the application in June and entered an order denying the application in August 1978. D overruled the Citizen's motion for rehearing. In September and during the absence of counsel, five of the disappointed organizers came to Austin and visited with D, giving him a 'different view' of economic conditions of the Borger area than that reflected in the order denying the application. They told D that the economy of Borger was better at that time than it had been in thirty years. They suggested that two new shopping centers were going to be located in Borger and that such location would create a 'real spurt in the economy.' The organizers further told the agency head about the expansion of the Phillips Petroleum Company in the Borger area. No one representing P was advised of or was present at this parley with D. Citizens (D) refiled the application and used the capital funds from the first application on deposit and used the stock subscription forms from the prior application. Citizens (D) viewed the entire proceeding 'as just one ongoing application.' In March 1979, D approved the charter application. D's order recited the fact that Citizen (D) had met with him in September 1978. At the time of the meeting Citizen (D) had no application pending before D. P appealed a judgment that sustained an order of D granting a charter to Citizens (D). P contends there are eight points of error, but the most important is D claims the district court erred in failing to hold that the course of ex parte actions and conduct pursued by Citizens (D) invalidated D's order. Ds argue that the ex parte communication could not and did not relate to a contested case or any matter pending before D and, as such, was not prohibited by § 17.