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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — A jury has found a Dallas elected official guilty of assaulting a municipal worker who refused to let him inside City Hall because he didn’t have proper identification.
Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Tennell Atkins was convicted Thursday of misdemeanor assault and ordered to pay a fine after a trial in municipal court. Atkins said that he plans to appeal the decision.
The trial had stemmed from a December altercation with Raquel Hultquist, a 911 call taker for the city.
She testified that she was talking with trainee Krystal McCloney on Dec. 10 when she saw Atkins banging on a door that leads to City Hall from its underground garage. Not knowing who he was, Hultquist said she didn’t let him in and instructed him to see security. She said that once Atkins was let in, he came up to her and grabbed her by the shoulders.
“He told me ‘Those rules don’t apply to me,'” she said. “He came very close to me, yelling, ‘Do you know who I am?'”
Atkins acknowledged yelling at Hultquist but testified that he never touched her or said that the rules didn’t apply to him. Last year Atkins said, “I suppose I raised my voice a bit but I did not use profanity nor did I touch, much less shake, either of the ladies…I regret that the two ladies feel I was too aggressive in my comments, and that I ‘shook’ one of them. I totally deny that I had any physical contact with either of them.”
Atkins later found a security supervisor to report that Hultquist tried to block him from entering City Hall. His lawyer, Scottie Allen, contended that Hultquist and McCloney filed the complaint in retaliation for Atkins reporting the confrontation.
“He was unprofessional,” Allen said. “They want to teach him a lesson . But that doesn’t justify an assault charge.”
Atkins is leaving the council because of term limits. His successor, along with the rest of the new council, will be sworn in Monday.
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