Man wins fight against City Hall ban

Judge: 'Michael Cuellar is no public threat'

Following a three-hour hearing, U.S. District Judge Xavier Rodriguez ordered a criminal trespass notice issued against Michael Cuellar lifted.

The notice was issued in August 2012 after the police chief and city attorney had been advised that Cuellar had allegedly made threats against fellow employees after leaving a city job.

“It should not have happened," Cuellar’s attorney, Jim Harrington, said, referring to the ban. “Anybody ought to know that you cannot issue a perpetual ban to keep citizens away from City Hall."

Harrington suggested that the real reason for the ban was his client’s interest in exposing government corruption.

Cuellar had recently made several open records requests. One asked for Mayor Julian Castro’s fingerprints, something he told the judge that “in hindsight,” he regretted doing.

“Michael makes people uncomfortable about asking about ethics issues,” Harrington said.

“The judge felt that Mr. Cuellar should be able to attend city council meetings,” City Attorney Michael Bernard said following the Wednesday hearing. “That’s his order and that’s what’s going to happen."

For a list of recent stories Paul Venema has done, click here.


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