A lawsuit against the Dallas school district and a candidate for election to the school board brought by his election opponent Kristi Lara was stopped by court order this afternoon until after the November 5 election, according to a lawyer for Lara's opponent.
Jeronimo Valdez, lawyer for DISD District 8 candidate Miguel Solis, told me: "This afternoon we filed a petition for mandamus in the Court of Appeals for the 5th District and a motion for expedited consideration. The court subsequently entered an order staying all proceedings in the trial court."
Valdez said that means the lawsuit will not be heard until after the election. He said the Lara's claim that Solis does not live in District 8 was never the lawsuit's true motivation, characterizing the suit instead as a fishing expedition seeking political information about Solis' supporters and his ties to Dallas school Superintendent Mike Miles.
I have had calls in to Lara and her lawyer, Lisa Blue, since early afternoon seeking comment. They haven't called yet.
Lara sued Solis and the school district on the first day of early voting, claiming Solis was not a legal resident of the district as required by law. Solis offered rent receipts and other evidence right away to show he had moved into the district in time to meet legal requirements, but the lawsuit ground on. Lara is seeking $100,000 from Solis and the school district and the right to question Miles under oath.
The District 8 seat was vacated when Adam Medrano left the school board to join the City Council last May. That left a four-four split on the board between those members who want to fire Miles and those who want to keep him.
Solis, who was a special assistant to Miles before quitting to take another job, is assumed to be a Miles supporter. Lara's campaign announcement photograph was shot at the headquarters of Alliance-AFT, a teachers union calling for Miles to be fired.
Why is this election a big deal? Figure it out.
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.