Summarized by Kent Larsen
Main Street Plaza Suit Hits New Dispute
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- While crews continue working on the two-acre plaza
replacing a one-block long stretch of Main Street between Temple Square and
the LDS Church's office buildings, attorneys for both Salt Lake City and for
the ACLU continue working on the lawsuit challenging the sale of the road.
Both sides are gathering evidence, but when the ACLU asked to depose the
city attorneys, the city balked and said no.
The ACLU claims that Salt Lake City Attorney Roger Cutler and Deputy City
Attorney Lynn Pace have information that is key to the case. "Both were in
attendance at key meetings," said ACLU attorney Stephen Clark. "They were
part of the negotiation. I'm interested in the facts."
But the city attorneys say they shouldn't have to testify because they
represent one of the parties in the case. They claim that the ACLU's
requests for depositions violate case law and the legal profession's ethical
standards. "If this goes forward, it would potentially make the City Council
members and the attorneys witnesses in any case where an ordinance is passed
and there's a lawsuit filed," said Pace.
But the ACLU maintains that the two have crucial information about a meeting
they attended on April 5, 1999 with LDS Church Presiding Bishop H. David
Burton about the sale. At the meeting, according to the ACLU, Burton told
the city that a provision of the sale was a "deal-breaker," and the
provision was subsequently removed before the deal was presented to the City
But the ACLU maintains that the provision, which would have required the
Church to regulate the plaza like a city park, was proposed by the city
planning commission, and that removing the provision was a violation of due
process. The ACLU's Clark says this is crucial, "A very important decision
was made to exclude that condition," Clark said. "Who made that decision?
When? And why wasn't it communicated more clearly to the City Council? It's
City Attorneys Mum on Plaza Sale
Salt Lake Tribune 31Aug00 N1
By Rebecca Walsh: Salt Lake Tribune