In Kenneth City, Here Comes the Judge
KENNETH CITY -- Challenger Teresa Zemaitis will not have much time to savor her victory if she wins this town's mayoral race on Tuesday night. She'll be in court the next day defending her right to hang onto the seat.
Zemaitis, a 10th grade reading teacher at Dixie Hollins High School, has been ruled unable to serve by town officials who are relying on an obscure clause in the Kenneth City charter that bars any public employee from holding the mayor's office. Zemaitis has refused to pull out of the race against incumbent Muriel Whitman and the town council decided last month to ask a judge to decide if Zemaitis can serve should she win.
After some changing judges -- the first judge didn't want the case and could not hear it before the end of this month -- it was assigned to retired circuit court Judge Horace Andrews.
Andrews held an impromptu telephone hearing this morning and ruled that, should Zemaitis win, he'll hear arguments in the case at 1 p.m. Wednesday. The arguments will be in Courtroom C in the St. Petersburg courthouse.
--Anne Lindberg, Times staff writer