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Beauty queen in ‘tacos’ flap looks to trial to get crown back

As she awaits a trial in her fight to regain her crown, a Texas beauty queen said she is fine with a judge's recent decision, saying "the jury will decide."
/ Source: TODAY staff and wire

A Texas beauty queen who is embroiled in a battle to regain her crown told TODAY that she feels "fine" with a judge's recent decisionto give the title to someone else, causing the case to go to trial.

"I feel fine, I mean, she [the judge] is giving me exactly what I wanted ... a chance to get in front of 12 people like you and I," Domonique Ramirez told TODAY on Saturday about State District Judge Cathleen Stryker's Wednesday ruling.

Even though the Miss San Antonio crown is now sitting on the head of former runner-up Ashley Dixon, Ramirez said that she doesn't believe it will be harder to get it back again. "The jury will decide," she said, adding that the jury has "seen the story, they know what is going on."

During the hearing, the pageant officials made Ramirez's reliability an issue, not weight gain. But Ramirez said Saturday that she does not think her reliability was the main issue in the case.

"They [pageant officials] really made weight a big thing in the beginning of this, and I think they are just trying to cover up for their mistake," she said Saturday. "My reliability, I've been reliable since I was 13 years old in high school, graduating early. I've been a volunteer for many organizations, and they're helping me out with this trial. We'll see how it goes."

After the ruling on Wednesday, pageant organizers, weary of a case fit for a soap opera, wasted no time crowning Dixon as Miss San Antonio — placing the tiara on her as she sat in the gallery of the courtroom.

"The judge's decision today speaks for itself," said Linda Woods, president of the Miss Bexar County organization, which runs the Miss San Antonio pageant.

Ramirez was not in court Wednesday for the decision; her attorneys said she was ill. Stryker set a March trial after denying a motion for a temporary injunction following a two-day hearing, in which Ramirez testified she was ordered to lose 13 pounds.

Ramirez is 5-foot-8 and weighs 129 pounds. Woods and the pageant have repeatedly denied that her measurements were the deciding factor and have accused Ramirez of exaggerating the issue in several nationally televised interviews.

"This time, we'll get 12 people who get to decide who gets the crown," said Luis Vera, Ramirez's attorney. "So, you know, it's a temporary setback."

Ramirez sued the pageant after being stripped of her crown in January. The pageant claimed she violated her contract by breaking rules, such as showing up late to events and not writing thank-you notes.

A portion of Ramirez's contract stating that a "baseline for my weight and measurements will be established" is among the contract violations listed in a countersuit filed by the Miss Bexar County group.

Most of the allegations, however, accuse Ramirez of being chronically tardy for appearances, such as grocery store openings, or skipping them altogether.

Woods said Dixon will now prepare to represent the city in the Miss Texas pageant.

"Until we go to trial in March, I will represent San Antonio to the best of my ability," Dixon said.

The Associated Press also contributed to this story.