The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Local News

February 24, 2014

City to discuss open records violation appeal

CLINTON — District Judge Nancy Tabor’s final ruling on the city of Clinton’s open meetings violation case orders the city to pay $40,680.05 plus $40 in court costs. It’s now in council members’ hands to decide if the city should appeal the ruling.

The city lost a lawsuit brought by Citizens for Open Government in which records presented as evidence during the November 2013 trial against attorney Michael Walker were not released for the public to review. The court found Clinton in violation, but was unable to determine who should bear the burden - the city as an entity or current and former members of the council who served during the breaches.

Tabor laid down her final ruling on Feb. 14, which was 15 days after granting a motion by the city’s legal representative, Cynthia Sueppel, to remove individual council members from bearing the penalty. City Administrator Jessica Kinser has slated an appeal discussion for Tuesday’s Committee of the Whole meeting. In a memo to council members, she noted a number of compromised officials.

Councilmen Ed O’Neill and John Rowland both participated in CFOG prior to their respective elections. Given this conflict of interest, they cannot participate in Tuesday’s discussion, nor can they vote on an action related to the appeal talks.

Because of this, Sueppel also said she has a conflict of interest because she represented the city against CFOG. When Kinser referred the matter to acting city attorney John Frey, he said he also faced a potential conflict of interest. The city has enlisted attorney Drew Chambers to advise on the matter.

Kinser said Councilman Paul Gassman was also looked into for a conflict of interest since he served during the open record breach. He is not compromised, meaning five on the council can vote on and discuss the appeal.

If the city chooses to appeal the case, the Iowa Communities Assurance Pool (Clinton’s insurance provider) will continue to cover Sueppel’s legal fees.

On Tuesday, the council will also:

• Consider a resolution awarding tax-increment financing agreements with Lincolnway Railpark companies RAIL.ONE and Nevada Railroad Materials. During the last city council meeting, city leaders on a 4-3 vote approved an Urban Renewal Plan that established the railpark as an Urban Renewal Area, allowing Clinton to reward TIF to companies therein. A first consideration for the ordinance came before the council immediately following its public hearing on the railpark. On Tuesday, the council will go through its second and third considerations before adopting or denying the ordinance.

• Set a public hearing date for the Fiscal Year 2014-2015 city operating budget. The tentative date listed in the council agenda is March 13 at 7 p.m.

 

1
Text Only
Local News
  • UPDATE: Police seek assistance in Fifth Ave. shooting investigation

    A shooting that occurred Friday morning in the 100 block of Fifth Avenue South remains under investigation by the Clinton Police Department.

    July 25, 2014

  • JUST IN: Man shot in downtown Clinton

    A 32-year-old man was shot in downtown Clinton early today.

    July 25, 2014

  • 7-25-14 Football field Football facility receives makeover CAMANCHE — Camanche School District administrators expect updates to the high school football facility to be completed next week.Camanche Superintendent Tom Parker said crews have worked to make sure everything is complete before next week’s Clinton

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Concurrent terms ordered in burglary case

    CLINTON — A Clinton man will serve four concurrent prison terms for his role in a string of 2012 burglaries.Assistant Clinton County Attorney Amanda Myers on Thursday requested the court to order Cory Mitchell, 38, to serve as much as 10 years in pri

    July 25, 2014

  • Dominant image Drying out CAMANCHE — It’s not been ideal summer for Rock Creek Marina and Campground staff members.A constant battle with the Mississipapi River’s flooded waters and the wreckage it has left in its wake has prevented the group from opening the campground to gu

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • District tries to attract prison workers FULTON, Ill. — While the renovation process at the Thomson, Illinois, Correctional Center has yet to begin, a few high-level management positions have already been filled.Filling those positions are people, and most importantly to the River Bend Scho

    July 25, 2014

  • New tourism position denied FULTON, Ill. — With the unexpected departure of former Tourism Director and Chamber of Commerce Director Heather Bennett, the city of Fulton has worked for the last two months to pick up the pieces and fill the void she left behind.One option was to

    July 24, 2014

  • 7-24-14 Used Book Sale Prep Finding a (temporary) new home CLINTON — The harsh winter delivered a devastating loss to the Friends of the Library.Now, months later, the Friends have regrouped and are ready to showcase its used books — albeit in a new school building.For several years, the Friends hosted its a

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Man charged with burglarizing cars CLINTON — A homeless Clinton man is currently held in the Clinton county jail on a $2,000 cash bond, on charges related to the Monday morning burglary of parked cars.Austin W. E. Housley, 20, is charged with possession of burglary tools, two counts o

    July 24, 2014

  • Camanche schools sharpens skills (with VIDEO)

    CLINTON — The Camanche School Board were educated Monday night on what actions should be taken during an active shooter attack.Clinton County Emergency Management Coordinator Chance Kness, as well as Camanche police officers Cory Determann and Daniel

    July 24, 2014

Facebook
Clinton
Camanche
Fulton
Clinton Herald photos


Browse, buy and submit pictures with our photo site.