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Miss N.C. Case Heads Back To Arbitration

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RALEIGH, N.C. — The North Carolina crown controversy will go back to arbitration.

An arbitrator will decide the breach ofcontract lawsuit filed by Rebekah Revels against the Miss NorthCarolina organization, a judge ruled Monday.

Wake County Superior Court Judge Narley Cashwell previously hadordered arbitration in Revels' lawsuit against eight individuals,including five pageant board members.

Revels' attorney, Barry Nakell, objected to Cashwell's order,but said after the hearing he was satisfied with the judge'sdecision. He said he hoped arbitration could begin in late May orearly June, allowing a decision before the next Miss North Carolinapageant.

That would be "in time for the new pageant so she could becelebrated as Miss North Carolina 2002 at the pageant and thencrown the new Miss North Carolina," Nakell said after the hearing.

Harley Jones, attorney for the state organization, sought thearbitration order after Cashwell denied his request to dismiss MissNorth Carolina as a defendant in one of two lawsuits that Nakellhas filed in Wake and Robeson counties.

Revels won the crown last June but resigned in July after anex-boyfriend told state pageant officials he had toplessphotographs of her. She later said she was forced to step down.

Her successor, Misty Clymer, represented North Carolina in theMiss America pageant, but Revels was invited to represent theUnited States in the Miss World competition.

After the Miss America pageant, Cashwell ruled that neitherwoman could claim she was Miss North Carolina until the matter wassettled.

Revels' case against the Miss America Organization is stillscheduled to go to trial in Robeson County, Nakell said. Lastmonth, Cashwell denied a motion by the Miss America Organization tosend that lawsuit to arbitration.

The Miss America pageant has declined to send the case to anarbitrator except in Atlantic City, N.J., where it's based.

"We're going to have a trial against the Miss AmericaOrganization, which is what we wanted. And we have arbitrationagainst Miss North Carolina, which is satisfactory," he said.

If Revels doesn't agree with the arbitrator's ruling, thenNakell said he could go back to court and challenge the decision tosend the case to arbitration.

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