By Ian white
JUDGE Lonnie Cox formally objected on Monday to court-ordered mediation in his case against county judge Mark Henry for firing county justice administration department director Bonnie Quiroga one year ago.
Cox filed his objection in the state’s first court of appeals, which one week earlier told the warring parties to go to mediation after receiving an appeal from Henry and the county commissioners against an injunction imposed upon them at the beginning of the month.
The injunction, ordered by visiting judge Sharolyn Wood while sitting in Cox’s own 56th district court in Galveston, was written to prevent the county breaking up the department and keeping Quiroga out of her office.
It ordered the county to fully reinstate her and pay her at her full salary rate from June 8, when Cox, other judges and county sheriff Henry Trochesset arranged her return after a layoff of almost 11 months.
The county refuses to obey the order, claiming that its appeal nullifies it, and has not only withheld Quiroga’s pay but also last week locked her out of the organization’s computer system.
In their objection to mediation, Cox and his attorney, Mark Stevens, claim that those and other actions represent more than just intransigence and that the court should exercise its jurisdiction in the case without delay.
The county, too, is crying foul in the case and The Post will provide a more fully detailed account of the most recent trading of blows in Sunday’s edition.