The red-light cameras have been turned back on and fines are being issued. Much as it pains Mayor Annise Parker to get all the revenue, she will be forced to take it until the city can appeal a judge's ruling.
U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes late Friday denied a request from the city to appeal a decision he'd made that the referendum removing the cameras was invalid. That appeal will have to wait until the case is finally and formally disposed.
Parker noted there is a hearing July 19 aimed at doing that. "It appears Judge Hughes is attempting to fast-track final disposition of this case in his court so that the City will be able to appeal as a matter of right," Parker said in an official statement on the case.
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The city's release on the matter said : "Final disposition of any remaining issues at the district court level would clear the way for the City to proceed with an appeal to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals as a matter of right, meaning without needing Judge Hughes's permission. This is exactly what the City is seeking."
At issue is the contract between the city and American Traffic Solutions, which runs the system and keeps a percentage of the revenue collected.
Once Hughes ruled the referendum to be invalid -- because it came after the deadline for such votes as outlined in the city charter -- ATS demanded the city live up to the contract and turn the system back on.
The contract runs through 2014.