On March 19, 2012, Unified Government Commissioner Ann Murguia was at the Argentine Civic Center for a community meeting on bus routes when, she says, she was forcibly shoved from behind.
By STEVE KRASKE
The Kansas City Star
When she looked behind her, she saw Diana Aguirre, a member of Wyandotte County’s Ethics Commission, attorneys said.
On Tuesday in District Court, the case of the shove-from-behind was finally resolved with Aguirre found guilty of battery and ordered to pay a $150 fine plus court costs.
Aguirre had been found guilty in Municipal Court and had appealed.
Aguirre’s attorney, John Biscanin, said in an interview that Aguirre didn’t recall making contact with Murguia in the crowded room that day and that if she had, “it was unintentional.” The incident occurred after a presentation when the 40 or so people in attendance could come up to the front of the room to look at displays of maps of routes that were being proposed.
He also pointed out that Murguia might have had her reasons for filing the charge because Aguirre had opposed a couple of Murguia-led initiatives in the Argentine neighborhood. Murguia is executive director of the Argentine Neighborhood Development Association.
“It might be too strong to say that she (Aguirre) has been a thorn in her side, but she has been an obstacle for some (Murguia) initiatives,” Biscanin said.
Murguia, who lost a race for mayor/CEO of the Unified Government this year and is now a member of the Kansas Board of Regents besides her duties as a Unified Government commissioner, said: “Two judges now have found her guilty. So Mr. Biscanin can say whatever he wants to say.”
Biscanin said the case had only two witnesses: Murguia and Mario Escobar, a former Argentine Neighborhood Development Association board member. According to Biscanin, Escobar testified that Murguia had been shoved so forcefully that he was “almost forced to catch her (Murguia) in his arms.”
Biscanin said Aguirre plans to continue serving as a member of the county’s Ethics Commission. Aguirre’s offense was classified as a misdemeanor, he said. Only a felony conviction can result in removal.
A spokesman for Mayor Mark Holland said he was reviewing the matter. A panel of District Court judges appoint members of the commission.
To reach Steve Kraske, call 816-234-4312 or send email to email@example.com.