Thursday, December 1, 2022

Lawsuit dismissed over recall election of Denton council member

A Denton County judge this week dismissed a lawsuit over a petition to recall a Denton City Council member.

Last year, Denton City Council approved a new council district map that moved the conservative-leaning Robson Ranch into Alison Maguire’s District 4; Maguire voted for the map even though she knew it wasn’t in her political self-interest to do so. In May, former councilman Don Duff, a Robson Ranch resident, submitted a petition with 745 signatures to recall Maguire because of her politics and a meme she posted online that was misinterpreted.

A screenshot of the meme Maguire posted

The meme was in response to an editorial by Chris Watts that was critical of DCTA’s bus ridership. Maguire used a popular meme to try to blame Watts for hindering DCTA’s bus ridership, but the meme format offended Watts and lots of residents who aren’t familiar with the meme, as they criticized the violence and perceived racial aspect depicted in the meme. Maguire deleted the post and apologized, but that meme, along with her not-so-conservative political leanings, prompted Duff to lead the recall effort.

Click here for more details about the recall petition.

Since May, Maguire filed a lawsuit challenging the petition, essentially arguing that Robson Ranch wasn’t in her district when she was elected, so Robson Ranch residents shouldn’t be able to remove her. Judge Jim Johnson ruled against her on Tuesday, but that isn’t the end of it.

“They’ll appeal it, but I don’t see that gaining any traction,” Duff said. “(Maguire’s lawyer) has nothing, really.”

The recall election has been scheduled for the November general election. If Maguire is removed, the seat would remain vacant until her term expires in May 2023.

Duff said he holds nothing against Maguire personally.

“She seems to be a very nice young lady,” he said. “I hope she learns something from this.”

Mark Smith
Mark Smith
Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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