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Weber County loses legal fight to have judge tossed from lawsuit over gang order

Weber County loses legal fight to have judge tossed from lawsuit over gang order

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SALT LAKE CITY — Weber County and its top prosecutor have lost a legal fight to have a judge taken off a civil rights case after they said he assumed they were lying and tried to embarrass them.

Weber County Attorney Chris Allred alleged U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups assumed he and his predecessor, Dee Smith, were lying when he pointed out evidence contradicting their claims. In a Tuesday order, U.S. District Judge Ted Stewart denied their motion to disqualify the judge.

Allred and the county had alleged Waddoups also seemed to try to either embarrass or “defame” the attorneys as they defended Weber County in a lawsuit. The civil rights case was filed by two men targeted with a now-defunct injunction restricting actions of suspected gang members in 2010.

Stewart said Waddoups made no finding the lawyers couldn’t be trusted but pointed out what he saw as contradictory evidence, then gave them a chance to respond.

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“Defendants’ hyperbolic statements are not a fair or accurate reflection of Judge Waddoups’ decision,” Stewart wrote in his decision, adding the judge’s actions “reflect a desire to maintain the integrity of this proceeding.”

Leland McCubbin and Daniel Lucero fell under a 2010 gang injunction that made it illegal for Ogden Trece gang members to meet publicly and carry guns or graffiti tools. The court order set an 11 p.m. curfew in a 25-square-mile area.

The men sued Weber County and Ogden in federal court in 2015, saying the law violated their First Amendment rights. While they reached a settlement with the city of Ogden, their suit against Weber County has been ongoing.

Waddoups declined to toss the case in 2018, finding that authorities said they want to reinstate the rule and the suit may be the only thing preventing that.

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