Having heard City Council member Rick Dow’s not guilty plea last week, City Judge Margaret Hencz has stepped aside for all remaining court activity on the case.
Hencz decided to have that case handled by Justice of the Peace Audrey Barger to avoid possible conflicts associated with presiding over a case involving another city employee.
“The City Council is the fiscal oversight for the court, and I just thought that would have the appearance of impropriety,” Hencz said.
Dow has an omnibus hearing scheduled one month from today on the way to a trial jury he requested over a traffic ticket he received under the ordinance passed last year banning the use of handheld electronic communication devices while operating a motor vehicle.
Dow, a vocal opponent of the ordinance, is fighting the case on the basis that he was not using the phone, merely holding it in his hand while gesturing.