City sued over lawyer’s actions, readers say

Dear Editor,
The City of the Village of Clarkston has been the defendant in a Freedom of information Act (FOIA) lawsuit for the past 18 months. At the Sept. 11 City Council meeting, at the request of City Council person Sue Wylie, City Attorney Tom Ryan updated the council on the status of the case.
Attorney Ryan clearly indicated information is being withheld at his sole discretion and that the content of the documents in question have never been provided to anyone in the city government or administration.
The mayor asked if the city was billed and paid for the records being withheld. Mr Ryan replied in the affirmative.
We appear to be engaged in a lawsuit over information in Mr Ryan’s control that he has deemed the city is not entitled to see, even though he was paid for his services.
As residents and tax payers we would like to know why we are defending a lawsuit caused by attorney Ryan withholding documents.
We encourage all residents to watch the Sept. 11, 2017, City Council meeting on Independence Television and make their own determination.
Lorry and Stuart Mahler
Robyn Johnston

One Response to "City sued over lawyer’s actions, readers say"

  1. Michael Powell   September 21, 2017 at 9:13 am

    The city councils attempt to make themselves look like victims in all of this is laughable.
    Clearly the city council colluded with the city attorney to “withhold” the billing information when they voted to approve the payment of “bills without knowing what we paid for.”

    The moment the city council paid those “bills without knowing what we paid for” they are guilty of one of two things, or both.

    (a) They’re incompetent.
    (b) They’re colluding with the city attorney to keep information away from the public.

    The notion that the city council isn’t aware that bills from the city attorney detailing what they were paying for can be FOIA’d by the public is an insult to the public’s intelligence.

    It’s interesting that the city attorney believes that even though he’s “not involved in arguing the cases, but consults with the MML attorneys and bills the city for that” that he believes he
    has the right “to be in the know” of what those attorneys are doing, while at the same time he claims that the public doesn’t have the right to know what he’s being paid for. Why are MML attorneys consulting with and releasing information to a city attorney who without a FOIA, and without the subsequent FOIA denial these attorneys claim they have the “legal right” to ignore?
    They can’t have it both ways…

    The moment MML attorneys hand over information on their lawsuit to the legal representative of the city, that information IS public property.

    The only victim I see here is the public’s right to know.


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