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Pleasant Grove in a holding pattern in Hicks dispute

Pleasant Grove officials are waiting to see what Coral Hicks wants them to do now that a district judge has ruled in her favor in a dispute with the city.

City Attorney Gordon Duval said until Pleasant Grove knows exactly what Hicks is asking, they're in a holding pattern.Hicks sued the city after it appointed Councilman Glen Haynie to take the place of her husband, Robert Hicks, who died a month after he was elected to the position. She argued that the city had not given the required 14-day notice to would-be council members to apply for the open position in January 1996.

The city was one day short of serving the required notice before the meeting was held to select a replacement.

Fourth District Judge Howard H. Maetani upheld her contention that the city violated the code and instructed Hicks to put together a legal order detailing her wishes.

Duval said Hicks has an open-ended deadline for preparing that order.

"Usually, the judge lets the person take whatever time is needed," he said. Generally, it's expected back within about 15 days, he added.

After the order is prepared and delivered, Pleasant Grove will have five days to look it over, and then it will return to Maetani for his perusal. If he agrees with the specifications, whatever Hicks has determined will be appropriate will become mandatory action.

Hicks has maintained throughout her legal battle that Haynie's appointment should be declared invalid.

Duval said Maetani never indicated in either the hearings or in the legal document whether the decision would be prospective or retrospective - namely, whether Haynie would simply cease to be appointed or if it would be as if he had never served legally at all.

A number of decisions in which Haynie participated could be called into question if the decision is retrospective.

Coral Hicks' daughter, Heidi Franco, a part-time political science faculty member at Brigham Young University, said her mother has always intended to see that Pleasant Grove recognized the need to obey the laws.

She said Hicks did not seek redress simply because she was not appointed in her husband's stead. "That was never the problem," said Franco.