Judge excuses himself from Donut Hole hearings

<p>Donut Hole Map</p>

Donut Hole Map

Several Donut Hole residents in Franklin County fighting to becoming their own city hit another delay in court today.

This afternoon, the Franklin County judge hearing the case, Vic Vanderschoor, excused himself from the case.

He did not give a reason why, and he does not have to.

This hearing was to see if the potential annexation of the Donut Hole in Franklin County is legal.

The Donut Hole is a portion of land in between Roads 40 and 100.

The City of Pasco started the annexation process in June, but Donut Hole residents have filed litigation to fight it, saying they want to become their own city.

After Judge Vanderschoor excused himself, the case was passed on to Judge Bruce Spanner, who was not available today - forcing residents to wait for a ruling.

"A little frustrated. Not necessarily surprised. Delays are very common in the legal system. But it's good if the judge feels there's a conflict or something, that he recused himself. That shows the system is working" said Steven Schlegal, Donut Hole resident.

Tonight, the City of Pasco is holding a special city council meeting about the potential annexation of part of the Donut Hole.

Residents living in the Donut Hole will be able to make comments and ask questions during the hearing.

Pasco's City Manager, Gary Crutchfield, says the city council could do one of three things tonight.

Council members could decide to move forward with the annexation, not move forward with the annexation, or they could hold off on making a decision.

If they hold off, Crutchfield says they'll most likely make a decision next week.

Tonight's hearing starts at 7 PM at Pasco City Hall.

The hearing that was scheduled to take place this afternoon in Franklin County Superior Court will be held Friday morning.