Wednesday, August 30, 2006
The Empire Strikes Back! Nazareth Borough Council Answers Sunshine Act Complaint
It's happened again. I don't think the ink was dry on my Sunshine Act complaint against Nazareth Borough and my damn cell phone started ringing. It was Courtney Lomax, Express Times reporter, asking me about it. And this afternoon, she called again to ask me about Nazareth's response. Apparently, Nazareth has answered my Sunshine Act complaint, which was news to me. Courtney was kind enough to fax me a portion of Nazareth's answer.
Not long ago, you may recall, I sued Nazareth Borough Council over its practice of using committees to make decisions behind closed doors. It's been doing that for years. Most recently, secret committees have been considering options for a municipal center relocation. Upset residents feel blindsided.
Nazareth denies it's done anything wrong, and raises every defense conceivable as well as a few that don't exist. According to Nazareth, my claim is barred by the doctrine of fraud, the statute of frauds, contributory negligence, laches, estoppel, statute of limitations, etc., etc., blah, blah, blah. This marks the first time I've ever seen contributory negligence used as a Sunshine Act defense. That's a good one. Nazareth has launched every arrow in its quiver in the forlorn hope that one might hit a target. Maybe this is some sort of practical joke, but it's no response.
That's unfortunate because democracy dies behind closed doors. And Nazareth has failed to justify its secret meetings. I could object to the scatter gun answer, but would like to get this in front of a judge as soon as possible.
Did I tell you how much I love our judges? Especially Judge Moran.
I think I'll call Courtney Lomax to see how this all sorts out. The Express Times has hired a psychic.