On Thursday July 5, 2018, the City of Plano updated their response in the Mandamus proceeding at the Dallas Court of Appeals regarding the pending recall election of Councilman Tom Harrison. While reviewing issues related to the case 72 hours earlier, the City discovered, for the very first time, the existence of two original, and slightly different, archived copies of the 1961 City Charter that are each marked with an official City seal. After examining all relevant documents, it is unclear which version from 1961 remains the current version to be used for 2018. At issue is the language impacting which election results are to be used to determine the appropriate number of signatures required for an election recall.
By today’s filing, the City has proactively asked the Dallas Court of Appeals to dismiss the Mandamus proceeding on the basis that appellate courts are not allowed to weigh conflicting evidence to determine which version is the current version to be used. Because trial courts are vested with the power and authority to resolve fact and law issues like these, the City has also announced its intention to file a declaratory judgment action in the State District Court, requesting a determination to resolve the factual dispute between the two versions of the charter and subsequent amendments. The City has an obligation to the citizens who filed the petition, the recall process and Councilman Harrison to make sure this is handled in an open and transparent manner. Today’s filing will achieve that important objective.