Greenville rejects Eureka Township lawsuit settlement

By Kelli Ameling • Last Updated 10:16 am on Thursday, August 22, 2013

GREENVILLE —After a closed session discussion Tuesday, the Greenville City Council voted to reject Eureka Township’s settlement offer and to move forward with negotiations regarding a Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit.

The city filed a lawsuit against the township on Dec. 28, 2012, involving a FOIA request made by the city to the township on Sept. 10, 2012. Greenville City Manager George Bosanic had requested public records (excluding engineering drawings and maps) related to grinder pumps and a forced sewer main constructed around Baldwin Lake.

During Tuesday’s meeting, the city council entered into executive session to discuss with legal counsel a proposed settlement agreement with Eureka Township in connection with the pending FOIA litigation.

After about a 30 minute discussion, the city council returned to open session and voted to deny the settlement agreement.

“I move to reject the township’s offer and authorize the city manager and attorney to continue negotiating,” said Councilman Mark Lehman.

After the meeting, Bosanic said he could not comment any further because of the pending lawsuit, including on whether the city has the records in question.

The council approved the motion 6-0. Councilwoman Jeanne Cunliffe was absent from the meeting.

On Aug. 12, the Eureka Township Board approved a consent judgement that Township Supervisor Rodney Roy said was drafted by both attorneys. The settlement was similar to one the township approved in June, but included a $300 payment to the city of Greenville.

Besides the $300 fee, the proposed settlement included the following stipulations:

• The documents were delivered to the city by the township as requested through the FOIA.

• The township waives the $400 fee it originally charged for the documents.

• The township agrees to review FOIA policies with its attorney.

• The consent judgement is a complete and comprehensive settlement of all claims by the city and the township on this subject.

• The consent judgement will not and shall not be construed as an admission by any party of any fault or wrongdoing, violation of FOIA or similar matters.

• The consent judgement is a final order and resolves all claims.

Roy and Township Clerk Linda Ruwersma did not return messages seeking comment for this story.

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