National Roundup

Lawsuit alleges discrimination by driver’s license agency

ATLANTA (AP) — A new federal lawsuit accuses Georgia’s Department of Driver Services of discriminating against Puerto Rican driver’s license applicants.

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in Atlanta on behalf of Kenneth Caban Gonzalez, who was born in Puerto Rico and moved to Georgia.

The lawsuit says the Department of Driver Services failed to issue Caban Gonzalez a driver’s license without giving him a reason and didn’t let him have a hearing. It says the department also failed to return Caban Gonzalez’s valid Puerto Rico driver’s license and the original identity documents he submitted with his application.

The lawsuit says the agency violates the Constitution by treating Puerto Rican applicants differently than other U.S. citizens.

The lawsuit, filed by LatinoJustice PRLDEF and the Southern Center for Human Rights, seeks class action status.

Lawsuit: ­Physician ­assistant ­sexually ­exploited patient

FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa woman has filed a lawsuit alleging that a physician assistant engaged in a sexual relationship with her while treating her for mental health problems.

The lawsuit alleges that physician assistant Mervin Casey IV of Fort Dodge sexually exploited the patient and mishandled prescription drugs.

Casey is serving a one-year suspension after reporting himself to the Iowa Board of Physician Assistants for an inappropriate relationship with a patient outside the clinic. But he has applied for license reinstatement. A hearing’s set for July 17.

The lawsuit filed Friday alleges Casey began texting the woman and the two developed a relationship after he started treating her at a UnityPoint clinic in November 2017 for panic attacks, depression and other illnesses.

Casey pleaded guilty last year to misdemeanor charges of obstructing a prosecution and unlawfully possessing Adderall. He was sentenced to probation.

The lawsuit alleges Casey, 32, improperly administered oxycodone to the woman outside his practice.

A phone number for Casey wasn’t listed. His defense attorney didn’t immediately return a message.

Lawyer: Judge charged after fight ready for legal process

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A southern Indiana judge who faces felony battery charges stemming from a May fight outside a fast-food restaurant in which he and another judge were shot and wounded is “prepared to proceed through the legal process.”

The Courier-Journal reports that lawyer Larry Wilder issued a statement on behalf of Clark County Judge Andrew Adams in response to the grand jury indictments against Adams and two others who were allegedly involved in the confrontation outside of a White Castle in Indianapolis.

Adams and another Clark County judge who wasn’t indicted were wounded while in Indianapolis for a work-related conference. The statement says Adams continues to work toward “full physical recovery.”

Adams and another man were charged with felony battery and other misdemeanors. The alleged gunman also was charged.

Couple’s front-yard garden legal after 6-year ­battle

MIAMI SHORES, Fla. (AP) — A Miami-area couple whose front-yard vegetable garden prompted a 6-year legal battle with their village has held a ceremonial replanting of veggies under a new Florida law legalizing such gardens statewide.

Sixty-three-year-old Hermine Ricketts and her 60-year-old husband Tom Carroll planted jalapenos, green bell peppers and other vegetables on Monday when the bill went into effect. Miami Shores previously made such front yard gardens punishable by a daily fine of $50 on grounds they were unsightly and violated zoning codes.

Miami Shores told Ricketts to remove her garden in 2013, prompting their lengthy lawsuit. An appeals court backed the village, but then the Legislature stepped in to legalize the gardens.

Republican state Sen. Rob Bradley sponsored the bill.

Man charged in Drag Queen ­Storytime scuffle

SEVERNA PARK, Md. (AP) — A man allegedly assaulted a Maryland public library board member during a Drag Queen Storytime library event.

The Capital Gazette reports 28-year-old Scott Thomas Miller was charged with assault and disorderly conduct Saturday.

Anne Arundel County Libraries spokeswoman Christine Feldmann says 30 protesters prayed and talked peacefully outside during the Storytime sessions, which 300 parents and toddlers attended. Two protesters went into a session and started shouting at the performer.

Anne Arundel County Public Library board member Rob Sapp says he asked Miller and the other man to be quiet when Miller shoved him.

Feldman says both men are banned from the county public libraries for a year and the Board of Trustees will consider lifetime bans.

It is unclear whether Miller has an attorney. The other man wasn’t arrested.

State high court puts county ­public defender on probation

KOKOMO, Ind. (AP) — Indiana’s high court has placed a public defender on professional probation for conduct violations that include money mismanagement.

Steve Raquet is Howard County’s chief public defender. The state Supreme Court suspended him Friday from practicing law for 180 days but stayed his suspension subject to Raquet successfully completing 18 months of professional probation.

The Kokomo Tribune reports the court’s Disciplinary Commission had filed a complaint against Raquet in April detailing his continuous overdrafts from a bank trust account and a series of professional conduct violations, including his lack of oversight of an employee.

Officials say Raquet, Vandenbosch & Steele law firm bookkeeper Kimberly Jackson had been placing deposits into incorrect accounts.

Jackson pleaded guilty in April to felony theft and forgery. She was sentenced to three years of supervised probation.