“The documents were not signed on March 4; the Clerk and the Mayor have backdated the documents,” Brugh writes, adding that the ordinance and resolution should be considered void under Indiana Code because Franklin failed to sign them within 10 days.
“I sign hundreds of documents a week,” Franklin said in an interview responding to the claims. “I don’t have a photographic memory. The record reflects it was signed on March fourth so I have to assume I signed it on March fourth.”
Hayworth did not respond to a request for comment.
Mark Crandley, representing Franklin in the lawsuit, and John Molitor, representing city council, responded to Brugh’s claims with a filing of their own. In it they request Cass Superior Court II strike the affidavit, as the court has already dismissed the case.
Writing that Brugh’s submission “offers nothing but conjecture that the documents were ‘backdated’,” Crandley and Molitor go on to state, “If Kitchell wanted to litigate these issues, it was her counsel’s obligation to present them in her complaint or at some point before the court entered a final judgement.”
It is possible the court could find merit in Brugh’s argument however, in which case the case could be reopened.
Should this occur, Molitor and Crandley go on to state in their motion that Brugh be disqualified from continuing to represent Kitchell. Their motion mentions the Indiana Rules of Professional Conduct, which guides attorneys, part of which states a lawyer cannot litigate a case in which the lawyer becomes a witness. There are exceptions to this rule, which the attorneys go on to write do not apply to the suit.
“Mr. Brugh is in the wrong place, at the wrong time and is the wrong guy to bring this argument,” Molitor said in an interview.