Dallas still hasn't shaken the Exxxotica monkey off its back. Although the case was dismissed, the Dallas City Council committed Wednesday to spending at least another $157,000 on its lawsuit to keep the porn convention away from the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.
This new expense brings the city's total legal fees on the case to more than $750,000.
U.S. District Judge Sidney Fitzwater said he dismissed the case for lack of standing because Three Expo Events, the entity that sued the city of Dallas, doesn't have the same name as Exotica Dallas, the company that initially contracted with the city to put on the event at the convention center. Fitzwater did not rule on the suit's underlying First Amendment issues or the city's claim that it has a business case to regulate who uses the convention center.
Last week, Three Expo's attorneys filed an appeal with the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, claiming that Three Expo and Exotica Dallas are affiliated companies, both interested in correcting the harm that's come to them as a result of the city of Dallas' ban. Three Expo events director Jeff Handy said he intends to carry on for the long haul because you "can't put a time or a dollar limit on the freedom of speech."
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The next time the city needs to pay its lawyers, things won't be so easy. Three council members who voted to ban Exxxotica, Erik Wilson, Carolyn Arnold and Tiffinni Young, all lost their re-election bids this spring. A fourth council member, Monica Alonzo, who's voted to fund the city's fight against Three Expo's lawsuit each time it's come to a vote, also lost her seat in a runoff last week.