DALLAS (CBSDFW/AP) — A suburban Dallas mayor is fighting the coronavirus on two fronts: at home and in the city.
Just days after McKinney Mayor George Fuller imposed a stay-at-home order on the city’s 200,000 residents, his 19-year-old daughter tested positive for COVID-19.
Although Fuller says he’s had an overwhelmingly positive response from McKinney residents about the executive order, realtor Derek Baker objected and sued to lift the restriction so he could return to work.
Baker requested the temporary restraining order last Friday.
It followed Mayor Fuller’s emergency order, that was different from Collin County Judge Chris Hill’s emergency order.
Baker said his business would have been hurt under the city’s, but not the county’s order.
In his filing, Baker cited a state statute that says during a disaster, if there is a conflict between a Mayor and a County Judge’s emergency orders, it’s the County Judge’s order that prevails.
But during the hearing, Judge Willis said she didn’t want to be the one to decide.
“Picking one policy over another based on my own personal preference would be very out of my judicial lane,” she said.
Judge Willis said she requested more research and found when the McKinney City Council passed the Mayor’s order as an ordinance, the legal challenge became moot.
Thus, she tossed the lawsuit.
“This additional information makes it clear that once the Mayor’s declaration was superseded by the city ordinance, the conflict provision no longer applies. Therefore, the plaintiff’s request for a temporary restraining order is denied,” Judge Willis said.
The Mayor said that realtors were always considered essential businesses under his emergency order and the city council’s ordinance.
On Tuesday, Governor Greg Abbott issued a new statewide order that establishes a definition of essential businesses.
Under the Governor’s order, residential and commercial real estate services, including settlement services are considered essential functions.
“I’m extremely happy with her very decisive ruling. It took all of two minutes,” Fuller told CBS 11 News. “Had she not don’t that, our ability to keep McKinney safe and watch after the health and well-being of our community would have been compromised.”
Fuller meanwhile says his daughter was feeling a little better on Tuesday, and was able to smile rather than cry when they connected on FaceTime.