By Bill Spinks
A mediated settlement agreement with an Ellis County man who filed a civil action lawsuit against the county in 2018 is on the agenda of Tuesday afternoon’s meeting of the Ellis County Commissioners’ Court.
In November 2018, Ruben Solis filed a lawsuit with the United States District Court, Northern District of Texas – Dallas Division against the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office for violating his rights under the Rehabilitation Act and the American Disabilities Act.
According to court documents, Solis suffers from Huntington’s disease, which is a degenerative disorder that affects physical and mental capabilities.
In March of that year, Solis called the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office to request a safe ride back home after he visited his daughter for lunch. Court documents state he requested the ride because of the effects his illness has had on his mental and physical capabilities, leaving him unable to operate a vehicle.
However, according to court documents, the encounter between Solis and two ECSO deputies escalated quickly, to the point where the then-67-year-old Solis was thrown to the ground and handcuffed.
Only after the booking officer at the Wayne McCollum Detention Center saw his injuries was Solis taken to Baylor Scott & White Medical Center-Waxahachie, where it was determined Solis’ injuries included severe bruising and lacerations to the face, trauma to the tendons and joints in his neck and hands, the documents stated.
After his injuries were treated, Solis was charged with felony assault on a public servant and was transported back to the jail, where he spent a day before posting $10,000 bond. The assault charge was dismissed a few days later.
In a separate agenda item, the court will take up a claim against the county concerning property damage to a door owned by Marcy Warren in the amount of $266.
Property tax appraisal reform will also be before commissioners as they will consider a resolution. At the June 16 meeting, the court heard from several local citizens who urged reform in the county’s tax appraisal assessment process. Speakers urged commissioners to lobby state legislators to change the system.
Also on the commissioners’ agenda for Tuesday are the re-appointment of Dr. Leigh Nordstrom as Ellis County Health Authority from July 1 through June 30, 2022; selection of public members to the Salary Grievance Committee; the acceptance of donation of services and work from GBRK Edgewood, LLC for storm drainage improvements at the County Farm; a renewal of participation in the Law Enforcement Support Office for the Sheriff’s Office; and consideration of creating a designation for administrative leave with pay, as there is no such leave in the Ellis County Policy Manual.
In purchasing matters, the court will consider a final payment for a 2019 Mack Granite dump truck for Road and Bridge Precinct No. 2; three-year lease agreements for three Ford F-150 pickups for the Sheriff’s Department; video streaming hardware from Swagit Productions, LLC; and freight charges in the amount of $2,435 for delivery of Flair Data Systems equipment approved for use by the Ellis County Judicial System in response to COVID-19 mitigation.
The meeting will begin at 2 p.m. inside the Ellis County Historic Courthouse’s Commissioners Courtroom on the second floor. Visitors will be asked to keep at least six feet apart from other members of the public and Ellis County staff.