Local News

Leading Off (2/10/17)

Diocese of Dallas welcomes a new bishop, former neurosurgeon Christopher Duntsch's assault trial continues, and tensions mount over police and fire pension fund talks.

Tensions Mount as Police and Fire Pension Board Looks for a Solution. At Thursday’s meeting, board members and retirees argued over plans to save the failing fund. Board members are continuing talks with city council members on ways to move forward. Four city council members, who also sit on the board, filed a lawsuit earlier this week restricting retirees from withdrawing lump sums and asking a judge to place the system’s assets into a receivership. But retirees pushed back, noting that they depend on lump sums from the DROP accounts to survive.

Diocese of Dallas Welcomes New Bishop Edward J. Burns. The diocese’s eighth bishop was welcomed during an installation Mass at the Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe in downtown on Thursday. Pope Francis chose the Pittsburgh native for the position in December. Three Cardinals, more than 50 bishops, and hundreds of priests were in attendance. Before coming to Dallas, Burns led the Catholic Diocese in Juneau, Alaska.

Former Neurosurgeon’s Assault Trail Continues. An expert witness answered several hypothetical questions related to Christopher Duntsch’s grievous patient outcomes, which were the focus of D Magazine‘s November cover story. A neurosurgeon should stop practicing after acquiring multiple patient deaths and severe outcomes, expert witness Dr. Martin Lazar testified. Duntsch, however, did not. To secure a guilty verdict, the state must prove that Duntsch was reckless and provided care that was far beyond the accepted standard.

Prosecutors Want Ken Paxton’s Trial Moved From Collin County. Prosecutors say a move would ensure a fair trial, as the Texas attorney general “has embarked on a crusade clearly calculated to taint the Collin County jury pool.” They feel their case has been tainted by Paxton’s associates’ “repeated attempts” to personally attack anyone going against him. Paxton’s legal team denied the allegations. Pending a ruling on location, the trial is set to kick off May 1. Paxton faces three felony fraud charges, with a maximum sentence of 99 years in prison and thousands in fines.