Dallas councilwoman facing ethics complaint investigation

- The city of Dallas is now formally investigating an ethics complaint against one its council members

The complaint is connected to the dog mauling death of Antoinette brown in South Dallas in June.

Brown's daughter says Council Member Tiffinni Young called her while her mother was on life support and tried to set her up with a lawyer.

In Texas and many other states, it is illegal to help an attorney solicit clients while victims are still grieving. And that is what a lawsuit alleges Young did.

It is still difficult for Matisha Ward to think about what happened to her mother.

“I have not mourned my mother,” she said. “My momma didn't deserve that."

Young has long fought to get something done about the epidemic of loose aggressive dogs in South Dallas. But Ward says what Young did after her mom was killed went too far.

After getting Ward's phone number, Young met up with her at the hospital while her mom was still on life support.

“I don't know how she got my information,” said Ward. “She said, ‘I do want to let y'all know y'all have a case.’"

According to a lawsuit filed against Young, she contacted ward again several days later.

Ward recorded the following phone call that has landed Young in hot water:

"Young: Tell me what attorneys you've talked to.

Ward: I haven't talked to one yet.

Young: Oh, you haven't?

Ward: No.

Young: I have one sitting here. Do you want to talk to him?

Ward: Yes, ma'am

Chestnut: my name's Chris Chestnut. I'm a wrongful death lawyer."

Tom Carse is Ward's attorney. They are suing Young and the lawyer that got on the phone.

“When she did that, she violated every aspect of the barratry law,” he explained.

Young and Chestnut went to the same law school in Florida. He now he has eight complaints against him with the Florida Bar

“[Chesnut] has more ethics complaints dealing with direct solicitation of personal injury victims, especially in wrongful death cases,” said Carse.

“It's like ambulance chasing. The barratry laws were written to prohibit non-lawyers soliciting work for a lawyer. The lawyer can't do it. Non-lawyer shouldn't do it either,” explained Dallas Bar Association President Orrin Harrison.

The association president said Young could be facing a third-degree felony, which will be up to the DA.

Ward says she's not after money. She just wants to keep what happened to her from happening to someone else.

Young’s attorney told FOX 4 she was not ready to talk.

The city will hold its own hearing for Young to weigh the claims next Friday.

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