Federal judge could be recused

February 13, 2008 8:28:55 PM PST
The federal civil rights trial that spun off hundreds of Chuck Rosenthal's scandalous emails and landed the DA in a grilling contempt hearing has come to a halt, and the jury selected today could be dismissed in the morning. Late today, the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed to hear a motion to remove the federal judge in the case. It is unclear on what specific grounds lawyers representing the Harris County Sheriff's Office have requested the judge's recusal because motions are sealed.

Officials do not know how long the appellate action could delay the civil trial -- days, weeks or even years. But if the panel grants the recusal, and a new judge takes over the civil rights case, Rosenthal's contempt problems in federal court -- over emails he deleted -- could disappear.

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