ALL the News about
Mormons, Mormonism
and the LDS Church
Mormon News: All the News about Mormons, Mormonism and the LDS Church
Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended May 21, 2000
Most Recent Week
Front Page
Local News
Arts & Entertainment
·New Products
·New Websites
·Mormon Stock Index
Letters to Editor
Continuing Coverage of:
Boston Temple
School Prayer
Julie on MTV
Robert Elmer Kleasen
About Mormon News
News by E-Mail
Weekly Summary
Submitting News
Submitting Press Releases
Volunteer Positions
Bad Link?

News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church
Sent on Mormon-News: 22May00

Summarized by Kent Larsen

ACLU Can Look For Evidence Of Main Street Collusion
Salt Lake Tribune 20May00 N1
By Rebecca Walsh: Salt Lake Tribune

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- U.S. District Judge Ted Stewart ruled Friday that the ACLU can amend its lawsuit challenging the restrictions on the block-long Main Street plaza. The amendment, filed March 1st, claims that Salt Lake City gave the LDS Church preferential treatment during the sale of the block, and that the public easement granted to the city was a charade. The lawsuit claims that Church and City attorneys together drafted the rules behind the scenes. The ruling allows the ACLU to look for and collect evidence of a collusion between the Church and the City.

"What's still not known is how, when and why material changes were introduced into that transaction to the sole benefit of the buyer and to the detriment of the plaintiffs and the public," said the ACLU's attorney, Stephen Clark. "The government can't impose one-sided restrictions."

But the LDS Church's attorney Von Keetch says that Clark is trying to bolster his weak case by throwing around "inflammatory language." He says that Clark's amendment is too little, too late, "The plaintiffs made a decision. Now, they ought to have to live with it," Keetch said. "A plaintiff shouldn't be able to line up his claims and bring a new theory in if another doesn't go as planned."

A lot of the controversy surrounds a City Planning Commission suggestion that the easment require the Church to regulate the block like a public park. However, the Planning Commission's suggestion disappeared from the deal that the City Council reviewed April 13, 1999. "That's the critical period," Clark said. "It was a collusive effort that was intended to obscure from the public the process of dropping that condition."

But the current City Council, which has some different members from last year's council, affirmed the decision last week, insisting that the council didn't mean for the plaza to be treated like a park.

In Friday's hearing, the first court appearance for the case, LDS Church attorney Von Keetch, backed up by three colleagues and two city attorneys, argued that Clark's amendment is grasping at straws, "That's a futile claim. It leads nowhere," he said. "The sale came up for a public hearing. The ordinances and conditions of closure were there for all to see."

But Judge Stewart ruled that Keetch's argument was premature, His ruling allows Clark time to subpoena and collect evidence of a collusion between the Church and the City to remove the term from the easement. "I am sensitive to the constitutional issues as well as the practical issues," Stewart said. "The court is going to do everything it can" to move the case along.


[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information