Newark drops Pixler lawsuit, fills council seat 4

Tears, furor and protest signs filled the Newark city council chambers in September after the council emerged from closed session and moved to pursue mediation in the lawsuit against Tim Pixler.

Thursday night there was tears of joy and relief.

Newark dropped its lawsuit against Pixler, who owns Tim’s Auto Tech off Farm Market 718, with the council’s 5-0 vote. The announcement left Pixler’s wife Laura, who has been fighting the lawsuit for more than a year, shocked and overwhelmed with emotions.

“Thank God, it’s over,” Pixler said. “It’s been 20 months. They really messed with our lives.”

Court records on file with the Wise County District Clerk indicate that the city filed a lawsuit against Pixler for violation of city ordinances related to junk vehicles and parking issues in October 2017. Court records assessed that Pixler owed the city $5,304,000 in fines accrued from 1997 to 2018.

“The council has been working hard to bring the community together,” said mayor pro tem Eric Fleischer. “This is one big step toward that.”

It was a long battle for the Pixlers and their supporters who rallied around the family.

Newark resident Michael Murray was one of the more than 20 who protested the city council’s decisions on the case. He’s been outspoken against the council’s decisions to pursue legal action from the beginning and was ready to speak again Thursday night.

Following the vote, when the public comment portion of the meeting arrived, he only had two words.

“Merry Christmas,” Murray said.

The olive branches didn’t end there.

After an interview of a second candidate for the city council seat left vacant in June, Darla Loggains-Wood was appointed to the fill the seat. She cast the fifth vote in the Pixler case.

Loggains-Wood applied for the position in June following the resignation of former Mayor Gary Van Wagner and the appointment of Mark Wondolowksi to the mayor’s post.
The protester and critic of the council’s decisions over the last several months was shocked to hear her name called. She said the council made a few large steps toward a more unified Newark and believes her appointment will bring representation for the south side of the city.

“I couldn’t believe it quite frankly,” Loggains-Wood said. “I was shocked beyond belief, but I’m really happy. I really want to help bring great things to this city. We’ve been split for a long time. It’s time to come together — a little unity.”

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