Attorney Hoping to Overturn Wet-Dry Vote Asks Judge Not to Delay Hearing Set for Monday
After this morning's post about Keep the Dollars in Dallas's attempt to intervene in the lawsuit contesting the results of the November 2 wet-dry election, several Friends of Unfair Park wondered: When is the judge slated to rule on Andy Siegel's request to halt the presently ongoing permitting process while his two named clients, one a council-appointed Dallas Area Rapid Transit board member, try to "quash democracy." (Well, that's how one Friend of Unfair Park put it.) Good question. Which is why I went back to the Dallas County website -- to see if that had been mentioned in any recent filings, because when I spoke with a city attorney Friday, he had no idea.
Turns out, the date has been set for December 20. Which I found in a filing made just this morning by Leland C. de la Garza, a partner at Shackelford Melton & McKinley, where Andy Siegel's also a partner. It's a letter to Judge Laurine Blake of Bonham, who'll be handling the case in Judge Emily Tobolowsky's courtroom, in which de la Garza says he received a letter from Assistant City Attorney Charles Estee yesterday asking for a delay due to myriad factors, among them Keep the Dollars in Dallas's request to intervene, several other legal matters (baby) and the fact that, look, the city "is not ready to proceed with a hearing."
Attempts to reach the judge and Estee proved unsuccessful, but First Assistant City Attorney Chris Bowers says this evening there is a conference call planned tomorrow morning with all parties involved, at which point they hope to finalize hearing dates. He also reminds: The city believes it's absolutely necessary to get the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission and, if need be, the Texas Attorney General's Office involved in the litigation. Siegel and de la Garza disagree.
But should Blake agree to Siegel's request to put off issuing permits till the case goes to trial (in the spring, possibly), then it's possible those parts of the city waiting on their beer and wine won't get wet in a few weeks after all. A follow-up tomorrow afternoon. Till then, you've got some reading waiting on the other side. No six-pack though. Unfair Park's still dry. For the next 23 seconds, anyhow.