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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended September 03, 2000
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Sent on Mormon-News: 01Sep00

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 Council.

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 troubling."


City Attorneys Mum on Plaza Sale
Salt Lake Tribune 31Aug00 N1
By Rebecca Walsh: Salt Lake Tribune


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