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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Judge sets controversial hearing after election



INVERNESS -- As reported earlier this week, Circuit Judge Ric Howard faced a potentially damaging case amid his re-election battle -- his first campaign after being appointed to the bench by the governor in 2000. The election is one reason defense attorneys wanted Howard off the case.

But Tuesday Howard scheduled the next hearing in the William Thornton saga for Oct. 2, well after the Aug. 26 primary when voters pick circuit judges.

The four-month delay between last week's court filing and the hearing is unusual, but attorneys involved in the case say it's a scheduling matter that has nothing to do with the election.

--John Frank, Times staff writer

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 11:28am]


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