Judge in Texas school finance case should be removed, state argues

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

State attorneys on Monday filed a motion seeking to remove the presiding judge in the long-running Texas school finance case because of alleged improper communications – primarily e-mails – between the judge and lawyers for the plaintiff school districts.

The motion by Attorney General Greg Abbott’s office seeks to have state District Judge John Dietz “recused” from the case because of a series of e-mails between Dietz and plaintiff attorneys earlier this year that were not shared with state attorneys. E-mails in question were exchanged between March 19 and May 14, according to the motion, filed in Travis County district court on Monday.

On May 14, Dietz invited all the attorneys from both sides to meet privately in his chambers to discuss his final ruling, which is expected to be issued later this summer. The session, which was closed to the public, included lawyers from Abbott’s office who have been defending the state in the case.

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