Mark Sweeney, executive director of the Shreveport-Caddo Metropolitan Planning Commission(Source: Nick Lawton, KSLA News 12)
BOSSIER CITY, LA (KSLA) -
Bossier City attorney John Settle says that he has dropped his lawsuit against the Shreveport-Caddo Parish Metropolitan Commission.
As we detailed in our investigation into the MPC's spending, Settle sued the MPC and its executive director, Mark Sweeney, for failing to comply with his public records request.
Sweeney filed a request back on December 7th, 2016, to receive documents showing the MPC's spending on their office from 2014-2016.
Sweeney said his first request drew a response from Sweeney showing more than $2,000.
Settle said he was told that number wasn't correct by Shreveport City Attorney William Bradford, so he filed a second request to Sweeney who then responded with more than $80,000 in expenses.
According to Settle, his lawsuit was not seeking any damages outside of court costs.
The lawsuit reads "petitioner prays that, after due proceedings had, Defendants be ordered to show cause why at a date and time to be fixed by this Honorable Court why Petitioner should not be awarded damages by his Honorable Court against Defendants in accordance with L.A. R.S. 44:35 (E) not exceeding $100 per day for the failure of the custodian to properly responded in a public records request."
Settle's lawsuit, filed on January 20th, was dismissed with prejudice in Caddo Parish court on April 20th.
"Initially I have proven that Sweeney did not comply with the Louisiana Public Records Act, which he is required to do so as a public employee—either by design or ignorance of the law," Settle said. "As a Shreveport taxpayer, I am not happy that Sweeney, through the MPC attorney, is wasting tax dollars by propounding frivolous interrogatories that cost the city legal fees, and I have decided that to go to court will further waste taxpayer dollars," he continued.
In a statement Sweeney stated:
"As expected, Bossier City resident and attorney, John Settle has dismissed his frivolous lawsuit against the MPC. This is definitely a moral victory for our organization and we can only hope he will cease his unfounded attacks on MPC Board members and Staff, and will stop wasting the tax payers money on his endless public records requests."