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January 3, 2013

Judge denies new trial motion

GREENVILLE — A state district judge has denied a motion for a new trial, filed by attorneys for a West Tawakoni City Council member ordered off of the panel in October.

A motion was filed with the 196th District Court December 21, asking for a new trial and to render the judgment filed against Carol Solomon as moot.

A hearing had been scheduled on the motion for January 15.

But 196th District Court Judge Steve Tittle issued an order December 28, denying the motion.

“The Court finds that the motion is without merit,” Tittle ruled.

Solomon was unopposed on the November 6 ballot in seeking the Place 4 seat on the council, but was ordered removed from the council  after being found guilty of official misconduct following a civil trial.

Solomon’s attorney had previously filed an emergency motion, arguing his client should not have been immediately removed from the council, as she was never charged with a crime.

Attorney Timothy Brightman had asked the court’s judgment be reformed, to require Solomon’s removal only after the civil judgment be declared final and enforceable.

That motion was presented to the Court of Appeals for the Fifth District of Texas at Dallas, which had yet to rule as of Wednesday.

On October 19, Tittle ordered Solomon removed from her position after she was found to have engaged in official misconduct. A jury found from a preponderance of the evidence that Solomon as a public servant accepted or agreed to accept a benefit from a person she knew to be subject to her regulation, inspection or investigation.

The jury’s verdict came too late to remove Solomon’s name from the November ballot.

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