Tarrant Mayor Wayman Newton has gotten some positive news from the courts after being acquitted of two criminal charges against him.
Newton was charged in July 2021 with assault for an incident caught on camera between him and former Police Chief Dennis Reno. The former police chief said he and Newton got into a verbal argument on Election Day in 2020 and that Newton slammed him into a door, injuring his shoulder.
Reno retired after the incident and then pressed charges.
Newton released a video of the incident and said it all stemmed from a race issue.
“The former police chief from Tarrant, Dennis Reno, was unwilling to stop the discriminatory practice of not hiring African-American officers, which under my administration is unacceptable,” said Newton. “There was a verbal disagreement about this between myself and Mr. Reno in my office on Nov. 3, 2020, in which Mr. Reno is alleging that I slammed his arm in the door. This is not true, and I fully expect to be exonerated.”
Reno denied the claims against him.
A few months later, Newton was charged with harassment after Councilman Tommy Bryant claimed the mayor made sexual comments about his wife.
Since then, another incident between Newton and Bryant was caught on camera in the parking lot of City Hall. After a council meeting in November of 2022, Bryant allegedly punched Newton after the two exchanged words.
Bryant was charged with assault and has a bench trial scheduled for May 23.
Newton pleaded not guilty to the assault and harassment charges against him. Judge Katrina Ross ruled on April 29 that Newton was not guilty after a bench trial.
Newton could not be reached for comment.
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