City settles sex offender ordinance lawsuit

Commerce – The Commerce City Council, after two years of legal dealings, settled their sex offender ordinance lawsuit Friday following a mediation hearing in Dallas.

John Doe 7 vs. City of Commerce was filed in November 2007 and claimed the ordinance was unconstitutional.

According to Commerce Mayor Quay Throgmorton, the vote was 3-2 in favor of the settlement, with the Mayor, Councilman Bob Monday and Tony Henry voting for, while Billie Biggerstaff and Richard Hill voted against.

The vote indicates a change in stance by Councilmen Henry, who had voted twice against a settlement in two previous attempts.

While details of the agreement were not immediately available, the settlement offer is reportedly the same $40,000 plus figure proposed in a mediation hearing last spring.

However, another $40,000 in legal fees have since been added to the city's bill, which totaled more than $120,000 out of the city's general fund as of April 14.

The Commerce sex offender ordinance will now be amended in accordance with the settlement, and go before council for approval in the near future.