Groves councilman facing recall after explicit photos leaked

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Residents of Groves, a small town southeast of Beaumont, will be asked on the November ballot if Cross Coburn should retain his Ward No. 1 seat after photos of him, including one with nudity, were leaked to city hall and the media by an anonymous source earlier this year.

The photos were taken from Coburn’s dating profile for Grindr, an online dating app. A statement, included with the photos, asked if Coburn’s behavior was proper “of a councilman to represent himself online.”

A recall petition was filed in May asking for his resignation by William Lane Howlett, a Groves resident. Coburn, however, contended that the petition should be thrown out because it presented irregularities such as counting signatures twice, spelling errors and incorrect notarization.

Coburn, who is openly gay, asserted that his sexuality was the main driving force of the petition. Howlett countered that Coburn used poor judgment in posting nude photos and his behavior is not befitting of a councilman.

A temporary injunction to keep the recall off the November ballot and a request for a declaratory judgment was filed on Coburn’s behalf but both were dismissed by Judge Donald Floyd of the 172nd District Court, according to The News Groves.

The question of whether Coburn should be removed will now be decided by the voters.

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