Citizen Files “Sunshine” Lawsuit Against City of Bemidji

Area resident C.T. Marhula, self-described “community activist and public data advocate” today stated he had filed a lawsuit against the City of Bemidji Merit Hearing Board (MHB).

The suit alleges the MHB illegally closed a hearing when the subject of the meeting had requested an open meeting. Minnesota law requires that the hearing be public if requested by the subject of the hearing.

“The lawsuit was a last resort act,” said Marhula. “Sadly, the current elected officials and administration are no different than those they replaced. They don’t think the constitution or law applies to them.”

He concluded he was hopeful new City Manager Richard Spiczka would push the reset button and bring Bemidji into compliance with both the spirit and letter of open meeting laws and remedy recent mistakes.

Marhula is being represented by the Upper Midwest Law Center, whose mission is to pursue pro-freedom litigation safeguarding against government overreach, special interest agendas, constitutional violations, and public corruption.

“The UMLC is glad to assist CT Marhula because we believe in the fight to require that public officials conduct public business in the light and not in the dark,” said UMLC Senior Counsel James Dickey. “This secrecy is an epidemic in Minnesota and elsewhere and the courts must enforce the law.”

Read Marhula’s Letter to the Editor in the Bemidji Pioneer: Sunshine lawsuit filed against city Merit Hearing Board

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